Mango Monday: Swahili

For this installment of Mango Monday, we will discuss our offerings for Swahili. The Swahili language, known by the Swahili as Kiswahili, is used in East Africa for business and communication among various ethnic groups. It serves as the official language of Kenya and Tanzania.* The language is spoken by 50 million speakers as first or second language. Most speakers of Swahili live in in Burundu, Congo DR, Comoros (where the language is known as Comorian), Kenya, Mozambique, Mayotte (where Swahili is called Shimaore), Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Oman.

Some phrases from the first Mango lesson that you might recognize:

  • Hello: Hujambo
  • How are you?: Habari gani? (literally: What kind of news?)
  • My name is __.: Jina langu ni __.

The grammar of Swahili is not like English, but that is to be expected. Some differences are that question words appear at the ends of Swahili sentences instead of the beginning as in English. Swahili also has many different verbs that indicate "to be". The word order will also be slightly different than in English, but the color coded words on screen with Mango will help you see it easily.

As with Haitian Creole last week, Swahili is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator. Each language product has different interfaces, and some will work better for you depending on what you want to get out of your language experience. Don't forget to take advantage of each product's mobile apps for language learning on the go!

Next Monday we will be back with a new language you can teach yourself with resources from your library.