Normal greetings in Swahili

Informal Greetings

These greetings are mainly used in conversations with friends or people who are familiar with each other. these greetings carry a sense of casualness, informality, intimacy, etc.   

Mambo vipi? (hi)

Inakuaje? (how?)

Niambie (tell me)

Niaje? (how is it?

Mambo yanaendaje (how are things going)

Dialogue 1

MUSA: Mambo vipi mwanangu (dude)?

ALI: Poa tu (just fine), mambo?

MUSA: Fresh kabisa (really fine)

Dialogue 2

DEO: Inakuaje mzee?

HAJI: Poa mwanangu, niaje?

DEO: Amani (peace)

Dialogue 3

KIZITO: Mambo yanaendaje mwanangu?

HOZA: Yanaenda poa mzee, vipi Maisha (how is life)?

KIZITO: Yanaenda mdogo  mdogo (it’s moving steadily slowly)

Insert the appropriate reply to the greeting

  1. WARDA: Mambo vp Musa?

MUSA: …………………………….

WARDA: Poa poa

  • NISHA: Niaje mwanangu?

CHOLO: ……………………………

NISHA: Fresh tu mzee.

In addition, there are greetings that are typically connected to a particular religious group within the Swahili community. For example:

  • Tumsifu Yesu Kristo (let’s praise Jesus Christ) for the Catholics
  • Bwana (Yesu) asifiwe (Praise the Lord (Jesus) for the Protestants
  • Asalaam alaykum (peace be upon you) for the Muslims.

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