Learn and understand how Swahili works by listening - best course ever! (Update:with transcript now)

As audio was missing here, I found this great audio course:

From my feeling this is a way to understand Swahili even faster and better.

Track 1 is just introduction, but just after track 2 you really feel to understand how Swahili works. And because it is explained bit for bit later, but not all in the beginning, "your brain improves".

In short: try it yourself. No, I am neither the creator of this course, nor have any dependencies to this/these person(s). But I want to share my good feeling that is a very suitable, if not the best way to learn it.

I started a public transcript now, but in my own words..

Stop me if there is already or meanwhile a transcript, and show me where. Otherwise: also alert me for errors, please. I had to go through myself several times to find some and fix them from time to time. But it's possible I miss some errors. More eyes see more ;-)

CAUTION: the transcript was created in a hurry, still contains errors, especially for the higher lessons. The first correction was destroyed in Kenya by the floods end of April 2018. I should re-correct it next days, also for myself. Hit me otherwise ;)

March 14, 2018


I love Language Transfers courses! He has a great way of teaching languages. I haven't tried his Swahili yet but it's on my list.

March 14, 2018

Didn't know Duolingo supported gifs!

March 14, 2018

Yeah, I love this course. I like this method and I also find him and his students quite likeable so it's enjoyable to listen to.

March 15, 2018

Very interesting concept, thank you so much for sharing.

March 14, 2018

Someone knows if there is a transcript for this course? I started to write down some words, but it's not complete yet. However, maybe someone did this already?

to know = kujua

to come = kuja

njoo! = come! (order)

here = hapa

later = baadaye

now = sasa

to sleep = kulala

to eat = kula

to say = kusema ..

March 26, 2018

I agree. I've been through the whole course (74 lessons, to date) three times. It is the best I've found on the internet.

March 29, 2018

Public transcript updated until lesson 23.. but I am quite sure there are still some errors, so I will not be angry but thankful if you tell me ;-)

April 6, 2018

Meanwhile transcript includes 30 lessons, but as said: it's not the officially one, and might include errors. Hope it helps someone anyway.

April 7, 2018

Excellent! I will be using it in a few months when I finish a Spanish course I'm working on.

April 8, 2018

OK, updated now until lesson 35. However still feeling a bit unsure that everything in it is described good enough. From time to time, when I go though it myself, I find errors. So please feel free to complain, too. Thanks :)

PS: @Lento_Rodriguez I once learnt Spanish by myself, but with neither Duolingo nor LanguageTransfer (LT). Do you learn Spanish by LT? Is it good?

April 9, 2018

Updated until lesson 50, but I have to go over it several times until most typos and other mistakes are removed. Sometimes I am even not sure. I still need your help ;-)

April 13, 2018

i believe the plural of kitabu is vitabu, not Witabu? (26-27) By the way, fantastic that you are doing this!

April 23, 2018

Thanks for your feedback. You are correct.. I printed all the 80 lessons and took it with me to Tansania and Kenya. There I corrected many errors with a pencil.

Now the bad thing: because of the floods the print went wet, now it is taka taka - in the trash. I know there are far too many errors in the transcript, especially for the higher lessons, and I have to re-correct it again.

Also there is another problem: I wrote for a better understanding always e.g. "ni na taka" and not "ninataka".. I think I should clarify more that in fact it belongs together, e.g. by writing "ni-ta-kuwa na gari"

May 3, 2018

Ah, man, that's too bad!

May 8, 2018

ni-mesha-anza - I already started with the re-correction, also added an extra page with quick Swahili as I learned it at place. btw, in Kenya they said - contrary to the course - there is no single potatoe kiazi, it's always viazi (plural).

May 8, 2018

CAUTION and TODO although the transcript features now 80 lessons: keep in mind, my transcript was done in a hurry, and so contains many errors. I already printed it, took it with me to Tansania and Kenya, and corrected it with a pencil, but since the floods (never use an ink printer if you go to rainy season!) it is taka taka now.. in the trash, and I have to re-correct it again at some time.

May 4, 2018

Just curious, but is the Language Transfer Swahili, Kenyan rather than Duolingo's Tanzanian.

May 9, 2018

Not sure if I get the question. I don't know exactly why Duolingo uses the Tanzanian flag, and to be honest I understood much more in Kenya. But both countries use Swahili.

May 12, 2018

Changelog 12th May 2018: (only the) lessons re-corrected from 2 to 27. Would be helpful if you can go through it, too, and tell me if you still find errors. Lesson 28 and above still have to be re-corrected.

Change 1: I re-listened the course piece by piece and checked if the writing was correct, also with Google translator. Sometimes characters were missing (kua instead of kuwa) or on left side there was "you" and on right side it was "ni" for "I". I hope I fixed all mistakes, but better you check again.

Change 2: to emphasize what is in fact written together, I use dashes now: "ni-ta-kuwa na gari" for "nitakuwa na gari" - at least for me it is important, that you can see what is contained, moja kwa moja.

Change 3: explanations in brackets and italic now, sometimes personal notes, e.g. for kwa nini I think pourquoi in French is a good hint.

Not updated yet, should be extended to explain later learned things (e.g. ki): §1§ Rules for Swahili

May 12, 2018

Changelog 16th July 2018: lessons re-corrected until lesson 35.

July 16, 2018

Changelog 23th July 2018: lessons re-corrected until lesson 43 or 44. There I found a quite ugly bug: the plural them for it of the no-group (like ndege) is zi, not to be confused with the si for negative ni. So, caution:

I don't understand: si-elewi vs. he saw them (e.g. >1 shule, schools): a-li-zi-ona

correct me if I am wrong..

July 23, 2018

ChangeLog 3rd Aug 2018: re-corrected until lesson 60.

August 23, 2018

I'm not used to comment any post here, but you did a quiet amazing job, thank you so much for your effort !

August 26, 2018

Thank you for telling us about the Language Transfer Swahili course and for all your work on the transcript!

I stopped learning Swahili on Duolingo because of the missing audio but may now try the Language Transfer course and then continue learning Swahili on Duolingo.

Stop me if there is already or meanwhile a transcript, and show me where.

I don't think there already is a transcript - but did you see that Language Transfer is looking for volunteers to create transcripts for the courses?

I think it would be a good idea to contact the course creator and tell him about your transcript for the Swahili course.

September 1, 2018

Hi, I already told him. But that was in an early state, at that time I wrote "ni na jua" separated to show how things are built of. He made the objective then, that it's not how you write it, and since then I re-correct the lessions to show "ni-na-jua" instead, but have not completed all lessons. At the moment re-correction was done until lesson 60 from about 80, now I see the course meanwhile grow to 110 lessons, OMG! TBH, currently I pause Swahili as I try to learn how to read and write arabic characters.

September 9, 2018
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