Salama means "peaceful" and it is usually the response to a question, like "How did you sleep?"
It is unfortunate that another Duolingo question in the Greetings lesson gives the translation of "salama" as "Hello". Report that if you see it! I think salama would seldom be used to initiate a greeting.
Interesting, Sandey! Strictly, this course teaches Tanzanian Swahili, but the comment by RuBarnes supports yours.
It might be that they don't want to encourage you to say "jambo" because they only say that to tourists; we are supposed to be learning what they say to each other.
That's an interesting thought. I read that too, although interestingly enough I have found some evidence that it's not the case. I don't live in Africa, but have many friends native to Rwanda and Tanzania who, when asked, have said that 'jambo' is a standard greeting for everyone, tourist or not.
Thanks for that information. It is certainly simpler to just say "jambo" to one or several people. Maybe the textbooks are teaching us what people used to say to each other.
I was taught that "mambo?" is a very casual greeting among young people. The typical response would be "Safi" or "Poa".
As someone who was taught Swahili by a man from Kenya, Hujambo should be an acceptable greeting.
Perfectly acceptable, but that is when you greet someone with a question (equivalent to "How are things?") Maybe that is why it isn't accepted here as a translation for "Hello!"
But it's hard to illustrate without any context in a single sentence this common question-and-answer format (e.g. "Hujambo?" - "Sijambo!") for Swahili greetings, and they just don't translate directly to English greetings (e.g. "Hello!") that aren't expressed as a question.