Directions in Swahili

by Julius Muange on Nov 18, 2016

Picture Source

Travelling generally has barriers in communication. Public transport is quite unique in East Africa, unlike countries such as Europe, U.S.A that have regulated public transport systems. Learning some basic Swahili phrases will help you get around.


English Swahili
Stop Simama
Car Gari
Please Tafadhali
Take Chukua
Me Mimi
Left Kushoto
Right Kulia
Ahead Mbele
Close Karibu
Best Zuri zaidi
Eat Kula
Where Wapi
Motorcycle Pikipiki
Visit Tembelea
Thank you Asante
Am requesting Naomba
Take me Unifikishe
Take me Nipeleke
Road/Way/Path Njia
Enter Ingia
We Sisi
All of us Sisi sote
Can I Naweza?
Road Barabara
Here Hapa
Everyone Kila mtu

Here are a few sample sentences below:

Context English Swahili
Simple conversations with a driver. Please stop the car. Tafadhali simamisha gari.
Please drive the car everyone has entered. Tafadhali endesha gari kila mtu ameingia.
You can take a left turn right here. Unaweza kuchukua barabara ya kushoto hapa.
Please take a right turn here sir. Tafadhali chukua barabara ya kulia hapa.
Please keep going straight ahead on this road. Tafadhali enda tu mbele.
Please take me to the hotel. Naomba unifikishe kwa hoteli.
Please take me to the airport. Tafadhali nipeleke kiwanja cha ndege.
Thank you for the ride. Asante kwa kunibeba.
Asking for different means of transport. Which is the closest public transport area? Je, ni steji gani iliyokaribu?
Where can I find the closest transport for taxis? Je, naweza pata texi ya kunibeba wapi?
Where can I get a motorcycle ride? Je, naweza pata pikipiki ya kunibeba wapi?
Asking for an ATM point from the driver. Please take me to the closest ATM. Tafadhali nipeleke kwa mashine ya ATM iliyokaribu.
Asking for best restaurants in the area. Where are the best places to eat? Je, wapi pahali pazuri pa kula?
Asking for best places in the country to visit. Which are the best places to visit here? Ni wapi pahali pazuri pa kutembelea?
Asking where a particular place is. Where is Wilson airport? Kiwanja cha ndege cha Wilson ki wapi?


3 Responses

  1. Zanele Kawalya-Kagwa says:

    Good fun, but my predictive text keeps getting in the way

    December 14th, 2016 at 6:43 PM
  2. Zanele Kawalya-Kagwa says:

    One was marked wrong, but was correct.

    January 15th, 2017 at 8:27 PM
  3. Denis says:

    So nice to learn from you

    December 20th, 2023 at 7:17 PM

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