Swahili: Good Morning

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by Totora, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. Totora

    Totora Senior Member

    Hello, I need to know this sentence also in Tanzania...

  2. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hello, they speak Swahili (the de facto standard language) in Tanzania. If that is what you are looking for, please see here.
  3. palomnik Senior Member

    I might add that while habari za asubuhi does mean "good morning" in Swahili, it's not really idiomatic Swahili to say it. It sounds almost as if you're asking somebody whether they have any news for the morning.

    Swahili actually has only a small stock of common greetings compared to most European languages, to say nothing of Arabic, which has a whole lexicon of standard greetings, and which had a considerable influence on Swahili in so many other ways.

    You can usually use Jambo or Habari as a standard greeting pretty much any time of day in Swahili; if there's any difference at all between them, it's that Jambo sounds a bit more polite, and Habari is what you're apt to say to closer acquaintances. The only other common greeting is Hodi when you're outside somebody's door and want to come in; you say Hodi instead of knocking.
  4. AFRO_FANTA Member

    swahili, english,
    Habari ya asubuhi
  5. User1001 Senior Member

    American English
    It's not that Jambo sounds more polite, but rather that it is such a generic greeting that people associate it with foreigners, especially considering most travellers do not take the time to learn a little bit of the language of the country to which they are traveling. Hujambo is a nice alternative, unless you are going to affix another greeting to the latter, bzw. z.B. Jambo <name>, habari za mchana?
  6. changedangel2000 New Member

    Kiswahili & Kikuyu -kenyan, English-Ireland
    why dont you try "asubuhi njema?" or "subalkheri? ".

    whatever you think about swaili its your opinion but dont be to judgemental when your just learning it yourself @tspier2
  7. User1001 Senior Member

    American English
    I'm sorry if you took what I said in the wrong tone, but it is the opinion of many Kenyans that "Jambo" just sounds tourist-y nowadays. That's why the band Them Mushrooms pounced on it with their song: Jambo Bwana.
  8. gorgory New Member

    English - American
    Actually, habari za asubuhi does literally mean "news of the morning," not "good morning" (which would be asubuji njema, which is rarely used as a farewell and not at all as a greeting).

    I don't think it is at all stilted to say, when I was living in Tanzania a (native speaking) teacher friend of mine would often greet his students in the afternoon with "habari za asubuhi." Usually the students would immediately respond "nzuri" out of habit, and the teacher would then tease them by showily looking at his watch. But the greeting sounded natural enough to the students that they never hesitated before responding.

    Also, regarding "jambo," in the 2+ years I recently lived in Tanzania, I don't think I heard it used as a greeting between two native speakers more than a handful of times. It is my understanding that it used to be common, but now has mostly been replaced by the conjugated forms (hujambo, etc.), habari's, and other greetings. In fact, I was amused to see a guidebook (Fodor's, if I recall) translate "jambo" as "a greeting mostly reserved for tourists.
  9. papa_shango New Member

    This isnt true. Jambo isnt considered just touristy by many kenyans, more the minority like the poster above.

    Its a completely acceptable and common place daily greeting amongst most of the luo, kamba, maasai and kokiri that I know and its no more touristy than 'hi' or 'ciao'

    Its just a word, they dont have many for greetings so its good to use the ones they do have.

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