Kujifunza Kiswahili – Learning Swahili

February 14, 2012 in Life, Mark, Africa, Front, Language, Swahili, Tanzania by Mark

One of the most crucial parts of our adapting to living in Tanzania is being able to speak the national language – Swahili – to a reasonable level. Having spent 3 years in Tanzania before I am able to speak Swahili fairly well (I’m happy to report I haven’t forgotten too much…!), but Laura has only ever visited East Africa so has never had the chance to learn much Swahili.

In order to help her learn we are spending a few weeks at a Swahili language school along with some of our colleagues, near the town of Iringa. We are into our second week here, and Laura is already making very good progress, picking up the fundamental parts of Swahili grammar and learning quite a bit of vocabulary that will enable her to speak and listen to people.

While Laura is in classes I am doing various things like finishing my MA essay, planning my dissertation, preparing for our move to Mpanda next month, replying to emails… and writing blog posts! I have also been enjoying teaching Maths (or Math…) to the 7-year-old son of our colleagues who is being home-schooled here, and giving some extra Swahili pointers to Laura and a few of the other students!

In our spare time we are making the most of the beautiful scenery, taking walks in the countryside and through the local villages, and also playing volleyball (which is a great way for people to learn Swahili numbers!).

Here are a few photos from our first week here…

Our small stone house

Our small stone house

Laura learning Swahili in class

Laura learning Swahili in class

Learning in class

Cascading water

The beautiful cascading rapids (click for larger image)

A nice friendly millipede

A nice friendly millipede

And our neighbour, who liked to come around for a drink of Azam mango juice...

And our neighbour, who liked to come around for a drink of Azam mango juice...