Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The single most confusing thing about learning and understandin

The single most confusing thing about learning and understanding Swahili is that many words have multiple meanings. Therefore the only way to know the correct meaning is through context. I’ve compiled a short list of common Swahili words and their multiple meanings.

Ua – 1.a flower 2.a yard, patio 3.to kill

Mto – 1.a river 2.a pillow

Ziwa – 1.the breast 2.a lake, a pond

Paka – 1.cat 2. to spread on, to smear on

Kiboko – 1.a hippopotamus 2.a rawhide whip, any whip

Toa – 1.put out, offer, deliver 2.remove, subtract, empty 3.publish, produce, generate 4.excrete, exude, expel

Toka – 1.go out/leave 2.come from

Shuka – 1.get off, debark 2.descend, go down 3.decline 4.land an airplane 5.a bedsheet 6.a loincloth

Paa – 1.a roof 2.a gazelle 3.to rise, ascend

Chungu – 1.a clay cooking pot 2.heap, pile 3.bitter, sour 4.common black ants

Jua – 1.the sun 2.to know 3.know-how

Mchango – 1.a contribution 2.intestinal worm, a worm in general

Tembo – 1.elephant 2.palm wine 3.fibers

Meza – 1.table 2.to swallow something

Basi – 1.so, well 2.that’s enough 3.bus

Panga – 1.a bush knife/machete, a cutlass 2.to arrange/put in order 3.to rent a room/house

Panda – 1.a fork in the road 2.bugle made of an animal’s horn or a conch 3.to climb/mount/board 4.to mount for breeding 5.to plant, sow

Mpira – 1.rubber tree, rubber 2.a ball 3.tire 4.condom 5.elastic

Ngano – 1.wheat 2.a tale, fable, story


Ryan said...

nice to see pics of green things. cool agricultural project that you're doing. everything looks beautiful, including you and carla.

great classic rock references, too!

Anonymous said...

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