Swahili is a Bantu language spoken in many parts of East Africa. Much of the language, like other languages in the world, was developed with words from other languages incorporated into its vocabulary. Kiswahili, as it is called in Swahili, incorporates words from Arabic, Indian dialects, English, German, and other languages.
Bantu words consist of a unique sentence structure called STOVE: Subject, Tense, Object, Verb, Ending. By changing any of these components, the meaning of the "word" changes. For example:
Ninaandika (I am writing.)
Ni is the subject, na is present tense, and andika is the verb and ending.
Changing the Ni to U (Unaandika) becomes (You are writing.)
Changing the na to li (Niliandika) becomes (I wrote.)
To make a negative, the change would be Ni becomes Si, na is dropped, and the a at the end becomes i. (Siandiki) (I did not write.)
There are other tenses and things not addressed here, such as the use of the object.
This page and the links I have chosen are not meant to replace a course in Swahili, nor are they all inclusive. The main purpose of this labor of love is to introduce the non-speaker to the Swahili language and to provide links to materials which I and others have collected. Hopefully, this will give the reader an interest in East African culture, language, and, mostly, the wonderful people.
Debi (Bi Maneno)
Yemi, this is for you!
Shikamoo Mwalimu. Asante sana. Umenionyesha hatua ya kwanza.
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