Swahili Translations

POZENA’s professional human translations from Swahili to English and any other language or from English and any language into Swahili are reliably performed by formally qualified native-speaking translators, assuring their consistently high quality.

Why choose professional Swahili translations?

  • Swahili is spoken as a native language by about 5 million people (ca. 0.07% of the world’s population). For many East and Central Africans, Swahili is often the second language, and fulfills a key role as the lingua franca in the region. Therefore, it is difficult to supply the total number of Swahili speakers. According to various estimates, it ranges from 50 to 100 million people.
  • Kiswahili has official status in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. This language is spoken in several other African states, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burundi.

POZENA’s professional Swahili translations

  • Assurance of professional quality
  • Business-class reliability
  • Translators who are native-speakers of Swahili
  • Translations for a broad range of industries and disciplines
  • Document translations of any type and format
  • Certified Swahili translations
  • Specialist translations and non-standard requirements
  • Translations from Swahili to English or any other language
  • Friendly and professional client service
  • Contact POZENA to discuss any multilingial project

Swahili – basic information

  • Swahili is a member of the Bantu languages group, which is part of the Niger-Congo language family. This language began to evolve on the eastern coast of Africa most likely in the 8th century AD with the arrival of the Bantu peoples from Central Africa, who interacted with the settlers from the Arabic Peninsula (hence there are Arabic influences in Swahili). In the colonial period, Kiswahili developed largely thanks to the British administration, whose members used the language to communicate with the indigenous population. In the 20th century, Swahili served as an identity marker of Tanzanians and Kenyans when their countries became sovereign states.
  • Swahili is a highly diversified language. Some of its varieties are not intelligible to speakers of Kiswahili from more remote geographical regions. The standard variety is based on the Kiunguja dialect spoken in Zanzibar. Swahili is regulated by the National Swahili Council (BAKITA) in Tanzania and the National Kiswahili Association (CHAKITA) in Kenya.
  • Swahili is an official language of the African Union and the East African Community.

Specialist industry translations from and into Swahili

Certified translations

Legal translations

Translations for the energy sector

Military translations

Business translations

Marketing translations, localisation and copywriting

Translation of agreements and power of attorney

Translations of user guides and service manuals

Translations of technical documentation

Website translation

Translation of business offers and public tenders

Financial and Accounting translations


Basic words and phrases – English-Swahili mini dictionary

  • yes - ndiyo

  • no - hapana

  • please - tafadhali

  • thank you - asante/asanteni

  • sorry - samahani

  • good morning - habari za asubuhi/

  • good evening - habari za jioni

  • goodbye - kwaheri/kwaherini

  • good night - usiku mwema

  • hi - jambo

  • How are you? - hujambo

  • good - sijambo

  • My name is… - Jina langu ni…

  • I don't understand - Sielewi

  • I'm from the UK - Mimi kuja kutoka Ufalme wa Muungano


Interesting facts

  • Swahili is an agglutinative language in which affixes (usually prefixes) are added to the root of the word. Therefore, form changes occur at the beginning of words rather than at the end. For example, ninasoma means “I read”. The root soma (Eng. read) has been prefixed with the morphemes ni (first person singular marker) and na (present tense marker).
  • There are no grammatical genders in Swahili. However, the language has as many as 18 noun classes (in actuality 15 are employed), such as people, plants, animals, artefacts, animals, abstract concepts, etc.
  • Swahili relies on a system of concord. Grammatical forms in a sentence or a phrase agree with the noun class (i.e. the prefix of the noun), e.g. mtoto mmoja mzuri (Eng. one pretty child) and kitabu kimoja kizuri (Eng. one pretty book).
  • Around 23% of Swahili vocabulary has originated from Arabic. However, basic vocabulary used in everyday communication has native roots.
  • The most common Swahili loanword is arguably safari, whose exact meaning in Kiswahili is journey.