Word for the Travel Wise (08/06/06)

As if traveling within the four time zones in the United States doesn’t get confusing enough telling the time in Swahili is something else. For starters Swahili time runs from dawn to dusk. Most of us operate on time from midnight to midday, but Swahili times makes both of these six o’clock. For example: 7 a.m. becomes hour one morning and so on. Just imagine the disorientation this could cause when traveling in countries like Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda.

Today’s word is a Swahili word used in Tanzania:

asubuhi – morning

Masai-Mara has a section devoted to useful Swahili and Kenya Travels has a similar list, but to catch the missing words between the two I suggest looking at them both. The Kamusi Project is the internet’s only living Swahili dictionary which has been suspended due to funding issues. Sad, seeing it seems like one of the best sources to learning the lang, but the if you’re willing to donate a few dollars you can help keep the website alive. To learn basic background facts about Swahili check out Wikipedia. Did you know the name Swahili comes from the plural of Arabic word sahel (singular) or its plural sawahil meaning “boundary” or “coast?” Just one cool fact I discovered during the first lesson I taught.

Past Swahili words: unasemaje, simu