Updated with new videos, June 2015. The pambio is a popular style of song in East Africa, and it’s the music we’ve been singing here in Dodoma. A pambio is a short chorus in call-and-response format. Sounds simple, right? But these could be the sounds of revival: deceptively simple phrases combined […]
You know how we lived among you for your sake. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. —Paul, to the Thessalonian Christians Paul and […]
Our tutor left last week to return to Dar es Salaam but learning Swahili is still our main focus. So, is not having ‘class’ every day an excuse to slack off? Hardly! Even before Nicholas left we were brimming with ideas about how to continue our language learning in a […]
Every language has unique idiosyncrasies. One thing about Swahili that seems odd to English speakers is the complexity and breadth you can use when talking about location. Grammatically, there isn’t a simple answer to the question ‘where?’ You use different words to talk about locations that are general (e.g. in […]
A language exercise from last week was to read the story ‘Mfalme Mjinga’ and then complete it. I’ve translated it below. How would you finish it?
We finished the ‘beginner’ Swahili textbook last week. What does that mean? Grammatically, we can now give reasons and explain consequences, use relative pronouns, describe things and people, include time references, make comparisons, and say things in both the active and passive voices. Conversationally, we can talk not just about […]
This is what a conversation in Swahili sounds like to me at the moment (translated into English): … … BUT … … SO … … BECAUSE … …