Here are some very common phrases you might want to learn if you’re traveling to Kenya.

Of course, most Kenyans speak English, but being able to speak a few phrases in the local language always enriches a travel experience. Besides that, Swahili sounds really nice, so you will enjoy speaking it!

English Swahili
How are you? Habari?
Hello Jambo?
I’m fine Sijambo or Mzuri
What’s up? Mambo?
All good, cool Poa or Safi
Goodbye Kwaheri
See you later Baadaye
Thank you Asante
No thank you Hapana asante
Thank you very much Asante sana
Ok Sawa
Yes Ndiyo
No Hapana
Please Tafadhali
Sorry Pole
Very Sorry Pole sana
No worries Hakuna matata
No problem Hamna shida
Welcome Karibu Karibu
Excuse me Samahani
What is your name? Jina lako nani?
My name is ___ Jina langu ni ___
Nice to meet you Ninafuraha kukutana nawe
I understand Naelewa
I don’t understand Sielewi
I like it Ninaipenda
I don’t like it Siipendi
Do you like it? Je unaipenda?
What? Nini?
Where? Wapi?
Which? Ipi? (or Gani?)
Who? Nani?
How? Vipi?
Me Mimi (pronounced Me-me)
You Wewe (prounounced Way-way)
Him/Her Yeye
Mine Yangu
Yours Yako
His/hers Yake
Ours Yetu

Now let’s put some of these words together into a sentence:

Mimi apana sema Swahili mzuri sana! (I don’t speak Swahili very well)

Wewe ni mzuri sana (You are very good)

See how easy that is? Here’s a great app called Duolingo you can use from your computer or phone that will teach you a little bit of Swahili every day. Not only is it excellent, it’s free!

p.s. you can use the app to learn dozens of other languages as well.