Swahili/Lesson Two

Grammar edit

Although Swahili has no standard articles (the, a), no genders (as in French or Spanish), and no cases (as in German), standard Swahili is a very highly inflected language. There are eight 'noun classes' with two numbers that specify the prefixes used at the beginnings of nouns, adjectives and verbs and which are the basis for a system of concordal agreement. Also they used the work bofoku meaning great one used mainly by Royalty or upper class

To elaborate on this, let us look at the different noun classes. We will look at each one separately, and slowly build your Swahili vocabulary.

M/Wa edit

The first class begins with 'm' in the singular form, and 'wa' in the plural.

Useful Words
Swahili English Swahili- pl English- pl
Mtoto Child Watoto Children
Mtu Person Watu People
Mdudu Insect wadudu Insects
Mgeni Guest/Foreigner Wageni Guests/Foreigners
Mwanafunzi Student Wanafunzi Students

  • Another useful tip to keep in mind for changing these words is that when the root of a word begins with a vowel, the "m" changes to "mw" as seen above in "mwanafunzi" to "wanafunzi". The root of the word being anafunzi, the prefix "mw" is added, along with a "w" in the plural.