March 11, 2017



From the desktop version

Food - Tips and Notes (below the lessons)

There are specific Swahili words that are used for some popular foods in East Africa. Translations in English do not necessarily exist and are usually descriptors, so for this course you can use either the Swahili word in your English exercises, or the descriptor, though it would be better for you to leave the Swahili word as is. For example:

Ugali is stiff porridge in English, but you can just call it ugali.

Pilau is a spiced rice, but you can just call it pilau.

Nyama choma is literally barbecued meat, cooked in a special, smoked manner, so it can simply be referred to as nyama choma.

Mtori is literally a banana soup made with green bananas, but that is a long descriptor, so mtori is acceptable.


I really feel like we Ugali should be an acceptable answer if there is no direct translation


They now accept "ugali". (18 June 2018)


As of August 14th, this is no longer true.


I am not sure why it varies like this, but it could be that different instances of the same question aren't all corrected at once.


Neither has it been corrected by 8th September.


i tried it today and it accepted "ugali" as an english translation for ugali.


Ugali is Ugali guys


To learn what it is


This is like translating pasta to english.


It's not, its a tanzanian dish. There isn't a direct translation.


Than why should we translate it?


It is an integral part of the culture Language courses should always also aim at bringing some of the culture across! :) (and a quick google search can give you more information on the looks and recipe; depending on where you live you might even go to a restaurant ...)


It's good to have a description, but we shouldn't be required to translate the word with the description. Stiff porridge makes me think of something like the kind of polenta (corn or maize meal porridge that is cooked until stiff then cooled so it can be sliced - try typing that every time you see it) that can be sliced and fried, or the masa (hominy (corn(maize) that has been soaked in lye) flour dough) used in tamales, or grits (ground hominy (see above) cooked like a porridge). I suspect it is none of the above, and stiff porridge conveys no more to my mind than ugali when trying to figure out what the dish really is.


You actually can cook Ugali with polenta and it is similar to what you describe above. Typically Tanzanians will use maize flour or millet flour for it. Abroad it can be hard to find the right kind, so here in Germany I use polenta as substitute (it gets closest)...


The person that insists on calling it this obviously hasn't tried the dish. Quite silly, this name!

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