Jambo? You have probably heard of that Swahili greeting, which, by the way, is not what native speakers commonly use among themselves. They prefer 'hujambo', which means, 'is there anything wrong with you?
Greetings are highly valued in the Swahili culture, and locals are pleased when you greet them in their language. You will form instant friends. Salutations may vary depending on the age of the person and time of the day. There are also formal and informal greetings.
Basic Swahili Greetings
- 1Hujambo (is there anything wrong with you?)-Sijambo (there is nothing wrong with me)
- 2Hamjambo (when greeting two or more people)-hatujambo (nothing wrong with us)
- 3Habari yako (whats your news)-Nzuri/njema (good)
- 4Habari yenu (greeting more than one)-Nzuri/njema
Kiswahili greetings depending on age
- 1Shikamoo (extended to persons older than you)-Marahaba
This greeting is commonly used in the coastal town of Kenya, Mombasa, and Tanzania.
Casual/peer to peer greetings
Youths all over the world don’t want to sound old and boring. It is not different with young Swahili language speakers.
- 1Mambo (whats up)-Poa (cool)
- 2Niaje (whats up)-poa/fiti
- 3Vipi (how!)-Freshi/poa/Safi
Greetings, depending on the time of the day
- 1Habari za asubuhi-How is your morning
- 2Habari za mchana-How is your afternoon
- 3Habari za jioni-How is your evening
- 4Umeamkaje-How have you woken up
- 5Umelalaje-how did you sleep
How to bid goodbye in Swahili
- 2Tutaonana-we see each other
- 3Safiri salama-travel safe