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Alphabet in Swahili Language

Knowing the Swahili alphabet is crucial in mastering the Swahili Language. Swahili alphabet structure is applied in a day-to-day conversation. Without the Swahili alphabet, it is difficult to speak the Swahili words properly even if a person know how to write those terms in Swahili. Learn More

Like in any language, the better you articulate a letter in a word, the more understood you’ll be in talking the Swahili language. Here are links that redirects you to the Swahili alphabet and how it is actually pronounced in English.
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Vowels in Swahili Alphabet

Swahili has five vowels: a, e, i, o, u. If you are familiar with Spanish, Italian or Japanese, the vowels are pronounced the same. If not, they are pronounced:
Aah (Like the "a" in "father")
Eeh (Like the "a" in "say" but without moving your mouth)
Iee (Like the "ee" in "see")
Ooh (Like the "o" in "so" but without moving your mouth)
Uoo (Like the "oo" in "doom")
Vowels in Swahili always make the same sounds, even when combined with other vowels. There are no silent letters or diphthongs in Swahili, so vowels will always make the same sound, and it is important that you pronounce each vowel, even when one vowel follows another. For example, in the word "daawa" (lawsuit), you must say "dah-ah-wah", pronouncing both of the a's. Simply saying "dah-wah" (dawa) changes the meaning to "drug/medicine".

Consonants in Swahili Alphabet

The following consonants are pronounced the same as in English:
blike the "b" in "bay"
dlike the "d" in "dog"
flike the "f" in "fun"
glike the "g" in "gut"
hlike the "h" in "hen"
jlike the "j" in "jam"
klike the "k" in "kit"
llike the "l" in "lump"
plike the "p" in "pot"
slike the "s" in "sun"
tlike the "t" in "tip"
vlike the "v" in "van"
wlike the "w" in "win"
ylike the "y" in "yellow"
zlike the "z" in "zebra"

Semi Vowels/ Diphthongs in Swahili Alphabet

There are no diphthongs in Swahili; however, foreign names and loan words may contain them.

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