LESSON #70: Please, Excuse me, Sorry & Thank you in Swahili
If you like me had a teacher that emphasised on the importance of these 4 phrases then you must know just how much weight they are given in any culture/language. I have touched on these previously but what I’ll be doing is telling you about their different variations as well.
- Naomba-ok granted this cannot be used in place of tafadhali, rather it would be used in a different setting, if you know japanese think using ‘onegaishimasu’ & ‘kudasai’, they both mean ‘please’ but cannot be used interchangeably. (Naomba is more of I am begging…. (insert whatever you oh so desperately wish for)
Tafadhali nipe maji/nipe maji tafadhali-give me water please
Naomba maji- I am asking (earnestly) for water
2) Excuse me
- kumradhi- you often hear news anchors say this when they make a mistake (it’s very formal)
- ***Naomba njia-this is used if you are asking people to give you way, in English you can say may I pass please but you can also just say excuse me and people make way for you. It’s pretty much the same in Swahili.
Samahani, nina swali-excuse me, I have a question
Kumradhi, watazamaji- pardon me viewers
- Naomba msamaha
- Tafadhali nisamehe
- Niwie radhi/naomba radhi
Samahani kwa kukukosea-I’m sorry for wronging you (is that even correct English?!!)
Naomba msamaha kwa kukukosea (I am asking for forgiveness….)
Tafadhali nisamehe kwa kukukosea (Please forgive me….)
Niwie radhi/naomba radhi kwa kukukosea (Forgive me…..)…btw ‘radhi’ has a lot of different meanings, might be worth checking it out.
Now let’s break down this tongue-twister-ish word (kukukosea):
Ku-object marker for you (2nd pers sing)
4) Thank you
Asante kwa msaada wako- thank you for your help
Natoa shukran kwa msaada wako- I am offering (my) thanks for your help
Nashukuru kwa msaada wako- I am thankful for your help
***Note I’ve only covered 1st person singular, so you’d of course need to change up the subject prefixes if referring to 2nd/3rd…person.