Learn Kiswahili 101

10 Modules 34 Lessons Beginner - Intermediate - Advance

About this course

The course aims to provide you with a foundation understanding of Kiswahili language, enabling you to begin communication in practical situations and to give you an insight into Swahili culture.

Course Structure

Preminum Content
3 Lessons

The Alphabet

The Swahili alphabet consists of five vowels and twenty-four consonants, almost like the English alphabet. The vowels, include a, e, i, o, u. The consonants include b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, y, z. The consonants that are missing are q and x.

Preminum Content
4 Lessons

Personal Pronouns

A personal pronoun is a pronoun that is associated primarily with a particular person, in the grammatical sense.

When discussing “person” in terms of the grammatical, the following rules apply:

  • First person, as in “I”
  • Second person, as in “you”
  • Third person, as in “It, he, she”
Preminum Content
4 Lessons

Basic Tense Markers

The tense marker indicates the verb’s tense—whether it is happening right now, in the future, in the past.

A helpful trick to remember the tense prefixes is by using the common girls' name "Natalie". Except in our case, it's "na-ta-li".

The tense marker indicates the verb’s tense—whether it is happening right now, in the future, in the past.

A helpful trick to remember the tense prefixes is by using the common girls name "Natalie". Except in our case, it's "na-ta-li".

Present tense = -na

Future tense = -ta-  

Past tense = -li-

Preminum Content
3 Lessons

Turn a verb into doing/action word

Make a verb doing word, while it may take some time and practice, you can eventually learn the right forms. Even native speakers may sometimes use nouns as verbs in colloquial language.


Lesson 1: Make a verb into doing/action word (8.30m)

Lesson 1: Make a verb into doing/action word

Lesson 2: Turn a verb into doing /action word -To be (Kuwa) (12.48m)

Turn a verb into doing /action word -To be (Kuwa)

Lesson 3: Turn a verb into a doing/action word To have (Kuwa na) (9.53m)

Turn a verb into a doing/action word  - To have (Kuwa na)

Preminum Content
2 Lessons


When you used a negated verb in a sentence, nothing changes but the verb being negated. So to say “I want to buy mangoes” in Swahili, you'd say “Ninataka kununua maembe.” To say, “I don't want to buy mangoes” in Swahili, you'd say, “Sitaki kununua maembe.”

Preminum Content
3 Lessons

Interrogative - Answering basic questions

There are various interrogative words in Kiswahili.  In Swahili, these interrogative words are generally at the end, but they may also appear at the beginning or middle of a sentence.

In Swahili, intonation is used to differentiate a question from a statement. There are mainly 2 ways of asking a question to get a yes or no answer, and they are the following:

-Pronoun+ verb: Like English, the auxiliaries do and does are used. Swahili uses auxiliary -na together with the personal pronouns. For example Nina wakati?( do I have time?), Una wakati?(do you have time) Ana wakati? (does she have time?)

So you realise ni- 1st person, u- 2nd person and a- 3rd person. So, the English do is used only in the 3rd person but can only be evident from the translation

the issue f pronouns can be seen later.

-Pronoun verb: Only the intonation makes the sentence interrogative. In this, there is also the aspect of tenses. For example: unaenda nyumbani(you are going home) ulienda nyumbani(you went home) utaenda nyumbani( you will go home)- these are just statements. When you use the intonation, they become questions. For example unaenda nyumbani?( are you going home?) ulienda nyumbani? ( did you go home), utaenda nyumbani? (will you go home?-Verb +...+ pronoun. The pronoun goes last

You realise that in the above example i used the 2nd pesron pronoun. You can do the same with the pronouns of the first person and the second person.

Preminum Content
7 Lessons

Conversation: Everyday scenarios - Inc roleplay

These conversation lessons have been created to assist in the different everyday scenarios you will encounter; they will help you string together the verbs you will use. The lessons are structured so that you can roleplay along with the students.

Conversations at the: Bank | Airport |Doctor | Market | Self Introduction | ordering food | Ways to say thank |

Preminum Content
4 Lessons

Advanced Module: Nouns Classes

Noun classes are probably one of the hardest parts of learning a bantu language (which Kiswahili is). The good thing is, you have probably been doing this (to some degree) already!
A noun is a part of speech that names a person, place, thing, idea, action or quality.

Preminum Content
3 Lessons

Resource Library

Here you will find your workbook, additional video content, and other useful tools to help you with your goal in learning Kiswahili.

Check back regularly as new supplementary material will be posted here.

Companion Workbook

Kiswahili 101 companion workbook

Swahili Verbs Plus Sentences

Lots of Swahili Verbs and  example sentences

Preminum Content
1 Lesson

Private tuition purchase

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