Ninazungumza Kiswahili (Kidogo tu!)

Translation: “I speak Swahili. A little bit!”

With less than 4 months before I venture across the world, I have taken it upon myself to begin integrating into Kenyan society. Step one: learn the language, or at least the basics. Although there are many mixed reviews on the software, for my purpose, purchasing Rosetta Stone for $165 will be a good investment. It covers 3 months of online learning and enough of a background in the language to help me get by. Plus it will be a good foundation for the language lessons I will have once I am over there! The biggest challenge I foresee is the dialect of the language. The way Swahili is spoken is very flat. After many (failed) attempts at pursuing Spanish, I am used to a more rolling dialogue with trills and fancy enunciation on letters or words. What I have encountered listening to Swahili is how monotone and flat the language sounds. As I speak it to myself, I hear bits of the Spanish distinction I am so used to, forcing myself to speak slowly to adapt to the new language structure. For a language I would never have randomly chosen to learn, it is enlightening to see the variations of a non-Latin language.  Hopefully by the time I depart on my journey I will be able to get by with a basic conversation (Or at least “Where is the restroom?”, “How are you?”, “I want to order/buy…”, and numbers) and not sounding silly while speaking Swahili with a Spanish accent.

No bueno!! (Si nzuri!!)


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