BBC Swahili is a gem
If you are learning Kiswahili, you might want to visit the BBC Swahili website, especially if you are engaged on a Swahili language course like the ones offered here. I also encourage you to listen to BBC radio.
Think about it; how did you learn your first language? Were you given a textbook and a pen, taught the alphabet and after you had mastered it you learned how to speak? If that’s the case, you were such an unusual baby and should be in the Guinness book of records. We all spoke or signed (in the case of sign language) before we could read and write.
Best ways to learn Swahili
You pick up a lot when you listen to a language being spoken, and it’s the reason why I am directing you to the BBC Swahili station.
It is better to listen to spoken language than listen to music unless you want to learn to sing, plus music is fun, so no harm. You could play it in the background as you go on with your work.
Try watching a Kiswahili movie, even if you do not understand, you will pick up words, and with consistency, you will learn. This is not only a fun way of learning, but it will also help pick up the culture of the Swahili speakers. Look out for the facial expressions and gestures as well. Swahili is a very expressive language rife with innuendos and sayings, so switch on your TV and learn.
These will be useful only if you let them know how serious you are about learning Swahili and insist that they speak to you in the language.
I can only hope you have the kind of friends who will teach you the proper language because I know a few who have been taught x-rated expressions and have embarrassed themselves in public.
Be like a child
What I mean is, be bold. I don’t know what happens when people become adults, but they are so scared, they don’t want to make mistakes, which is one reason it takes longer for them to learn a new language. So go out there and use the words you know, make a fool of yourself, laugh about it and, in the process, you will be learning.
The truth is, there will be times when your enthusiasm to learn will decrease, that is normal. Have a Swahili learning schedule. Promise yourself that you will be taking 30 minutes or an hour every day to study. If your brain does not feel like studying, turn on your radio and listen to BBC Swahili. Do not give up if you sometimes are not able to stick to your schedule.
Find a Swahili tutor
You are busy, your work schedule is tight, and you cannot carve out some time to study. Finding a Kiswahili teacher, and booking and paying for several lessons in advance will help you stay true to your commitment. I find this to be true if I want to learn something, I pay for it, and because I don’t want to lose my money, I follow through.
I know I told you to do a lot of listening, but you will need to read and write a message in Kiswahili. So whether you are going to buy books or get materials from the internet, do some reading. It helps if you can find written materials that have accompanying audio. Make your flashcards and read them as well.
You are now well equipped, learn some Swahili and have fun!
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