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[Update] Audio!

Hamjambo wote?

The Swahili course finally has audio! It took a while, but now you should be able to hear Emilian's voice reading some sentences aloud. (Disclaimer: not every single sentence has audio available.) I'm sure the audio will make the learning experience much more enjoyable!

Asante sana kwa kuwa na subira! (Thank you so much for your patience!)

I have encountered some sentences with wrong audio. It is possible that several other sentences were matched to the wrong audio files. If you find one of those, please leave me a comment down below. (This will catch my attention faster than using the report button.)

(Native/Near-native Swahili speakers, don't hesitate to apply here!)

December 20, 2018



Yes! Such exciting news! Coming back to this course is likely to be a New Year's resolution for me.


Same! Let's get out of this level8 rut!


That's what I'm saying!


Thank you for your work <3 <3 <3


Thanks so much! Here are some items to address:

In "Clothing," the phrase "fulana yangu" is mismatched with the audio for "fulana yake ni chafu."

In "Animals," the sentence "Paka wangu anakunywa maziwa" is mismatched with the audio for "Paka wangu anakunywa maji."

In "Present 3," the opening of the phrase "Maliza shule" is garbled.


In "Animals," the sentence "Paka wangu anakunywa maziwa" is mismatched with the audio for "Paka wangu anakunywa maji."

Just encountered this one (as a type what you hear exercise, so, yeah, got that one wrong ;)

davidvdb, could you let us know what's most useful for you if we come across something already listed a while ago in this thread? Disabling the audio I would assume is pretty immediate? So it'd be worth repeating since maybe there was a glitch and it didn't actually get disabled? Or maybe it takes a while so try to take a look and see if it's been at least a week or two?


I disabled the sentence when likes2hike reported the issue, so there must be a glitch. I'll try to contact a staff member as soon as possible.


I have also just encountered the garbled "Maliza shule" audio, so for some reason it seems like the sentences haven't been fixed.



Now I've just come across "Fulana yangu" and the mismatched audio likes2hike reported is still there, too.


I just had "Fulana yangu" with the audio being "Fulana yake ni chafu", so that one's still missing.


The audio for Fulana yangu is still Fulana yake ni chafu


There is still a mismatch between maziwa (written) and maji (sound).
(31-Dec-2020, Android App)

see also comments to this sentence/exercise:



Thank you! I'm glad there finally is activity to improve the course.


Swahili is just too much fun. I mean, it got me to enjoy memorizing grammar charts! That's never happened to me before!


I've also been trying to report as possible in regards to the english translations (especially sections 4 & 5). Please keep making the course better. A lot of people use it. thanks!!!!


Please, keep reporting! I hope you recently started to get mails about approved alternative translations. It might take a while to fix everything, but I'll try not to give up :) Thanks for your help!


Every time I see an email it makes my day!!! I've dealt with so much frustration from the translations that even just one fix means the course is that much easier to get through. Thanks so much for all your hard work!!!


I have seen them please don't give up!!! Thanks again!


Please don't give up! The improvements to the course keep us going and wanting to learn! I've definitely noticed them.


I keep noticing improvements -- better English translations, more "accepted" translations. Kama nilivyosema kabla, "polepole ndio mwendo." Kwa hivyo, usife moyo bali endelea na kazi bora unayofanya kila siku katika kuimarisha DL Swahili.


In the lesson on comparatives we learn that zaidi ya and kuliko are synonyms. For instance, 'Tanzania is bigger than Kenya' can be translated as either Tanzania ni kubwa kuliko Kenya or Tanzania ni kubwa zaidi ya Kenya. However, throughout the lesson, one has to choose one alternative, and the other is considered incorrect. Is it possible for the contributors to fix this?


Thanks for all your work!

I just found one small audio mistake: Mama anatunza mtoto wake has the audio Mama anatunza WAtoto wake


hakuandika kitabu - hukuandika kitabu

paka yupo chini ya kiti - something entirely different

chembechembe ya damu - chembechembe za damu

watalii wanahitaji mizigo yao - something else

And then a few that I'm not so sure what to think of:

protoni - I can't hear the i in the audio. I don't know if it's supposed to be silent, but it's really confusing in listening exercises...

ni vizuri kunywa maji salama - kunywa is not pronounced very clearly. I assume it represents realistic speech, but it's making listening exercises quite tricky - perhaps more than they need to be (I'm really not sure, so just wanted to bring it up)


A few more:

Wiki - audio has something longer

Hatutaimba - audio has hatutaimba wimbo

Hawajachora picha - audio is something else

Pafu baya - audio is something else

Mama anatunza mtoto wake - audio is Mama anatunza watoto wake

And something else: On the background page for Emotions, https://www.duolingo.com/skill/sw/Emotions/tips-and-notes, it translates "Kuhuzunika" as "To bereave". I'm not a native English speaker, but that looks odd to me. Shouldn't it be more like "To grieve" or at least "To be bereaved"?

I also had one where the "correct" answer was incorrect English - I think it was "a gray socks". I reported it as "there's something wrong", but unfortunately the app doesn't leave more options (I've noticed that the web site has 3 or 4 different choices available when reporting a problem, but the app doesn't :().


Here's a slightly more complex one:

On some order-the-words questions, when I tap the first word, it'll be said out loud. This seems a little bit strange in itself, because it only happens with the first word. But on the question "Six weeks" there's an error: When I tap "wiki" the audio goes "wiki ya tatu". (And when I tap "wiki" in "A week is seven days" I get the same audio.)


A few more non-audio errors (if you'd rather I post it somewhere else, just say so :)).

In the "Conditional Tense" lesson there are several errors in the English sentences. That one and Prepositional Verbs could really do with cleanup...

If he read[s] you will write

If he turn[s] off the light you will sleep

If you come home you will take [a] bath

If you drink alcohol you will not dance [to] music

If they take [a] shower they will look good

If I study I will pass [the] examination If I cook I will eat = nikipika chakula nitakula; kama nikija nitapika chakula = if I come I will cook <- in both cases chakula should be removed, or food/meal added to the English sentence


More audio issues:

Paka yupo chini ya kiti - audio is something else

Bei yako ni sawasawa - audio is something else

Nikisoma nitafaulu mtihani - audio is nikisoma nitafaulu

waislamu wanasali msikitini - audio is something else

Fulana yangu - audio is something else


Nikisoma nitafaulu mtihani - audio is nikisoma nitafaulu

Just encountered this. Perhaps another fix that didn't take?


kuna meli kubwa - audio sounds like una meli kubwa (not sure if there is a hint of a very quiet k, but for learning purposes I think that would be unpractical...)

tunahitaji Diwani mzuri

tukitaka kwenda marekani tutahitaji viza


The audio for "Tunahitaji Diwani mzuri" is still mismatched: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/21905741


walimu huimba - audio is just huimba

Krismasi tutaenda Serengeti - something else

And a few non-audio issues:

I wanted to report Usipopika ugali sitakula as an alternative correct answer to Msipopika ugali sitakula - but I can't, it just accepts the answer as a typo ;)

Cloth is torn expects Nguo imechanika. Everywhere else I only remember seeing kupasua used for this, and the dropdown hint for torn also only gives kimepasuka so there's an inconsistency somewhere...


Ninahitaji mchele - audio is Ninahitaji mche

Kila asubuhi Rashidi hukimbia - in the audio there's something more between kila and asubuhi

Msingalienda msingalipika - audio is msingalipika msingalikula

And non-audio: (sorry, don't have a better place to post them...)

For "You had gone" I wanted to suggest ulikuwa umekwenda as alternative, but it just gets accepted as a typo.

I believe https://www.duolingo.com/skill/sw/Immediate-Past/tips-and-notes should also mention -ja- being the negative form of -me- (as far as I can see that's the level where it's introduced, it's just not mentioned in the notes).

And PS. The Negative Conditional skill badly needs a general overhaul on the English...


One more: Sitafika na dada yangu kesho kutwa - the last word (kutwa) is missing in the audio.

And: hatutaimba - the audio is hatutaimba wimbo


Do you need us to post where the problem sentences come from, or do you have a search function to help you locate them?

Here are a few more I've come across:

Mama na Juma ni walimu - the audio is something entirely different

Pafu baya - the audio is something entirely different

Mhudumu - the audio is something like mwalimumu

Sipendi joto - the audio is Sipendi jongoo

chembechembe ya damu - the audio is chembechembe za damu

hajala ugali - the audio sounds to me more like hujala ugali

(PS. I'm guessing we shouldn't edit existing posts to add more items, just to make sure you get notifications and can keep track of what's new... - please just say if you want it differently :))


Luckily, we have a search function :) and this way of posting is great! Thank you so much for you help!


Excellent - thanks for the feedback :).


@hannepanda: Thank you for your many reports regarding the sound bugs.

@davidvdb: Asanta sana kwa masahihisho yako. The improvements are noticeable and the sound really provides a better learning experience.
Just an update for the reported minor mismatch for "Mama anatunza mtoto wake": The audio still says "Mama anatunza watoto wake".


Super! Do you know if all the available audio has been loaded?

Here are a couple with mismatched audio (particularly frustrating since they turn up as listening exercises):


The audio for "Imbeni vizuri" seems to have a different word instead of "imbeni."


I got your first example on the iOS app and I had the type of listening exercise where you have to select words from the word bank.

  • The audio for "Umeme wa maji" is (I guess) "sawa sawa."
  • The audio for "Nyuso" is (I guess) "Hawayatembea."
  • Not sure what the first word for the recording of "Maliza shule" is supposed to be (may have been a recording glitch)


The audio for "Nyuso" is still mismatched.


The audio for "Umeme wa maji" is still mismatched. And I just got it as a listening exercise. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/21709895


Just wanted to thank you for all your work. You're getting through the reports for the sentence quite quickly too! Asante sana!


I would like to thank you for all the help you give everyone! I see your comments quite often. (If you would like to help, don't hesitate to apply here!)


@davidvdb you really have been doing the Lord's work these last few weeks fam. These corrections are everything


I stopped doing kiSwahili. It was making me crazy. There were too many mistakes, especially in the English sentences. It wasn't just a matter of catching various correct versions—the sentences were actually grammatically incorrect. If these haven't been fixed, then all the audio in the world won't help matters. I thought perhaps that with the lessons fully out of beta, things might have improved, but posts in the discussion seem to indicate otherwise.


Hi Steven!

I joined the team about a week ago, knowing the state of the course. In one week, I fixed over a thousand sentences (adjusting the hints and disabling wrong audio not included). Last week, the audio got added (by the Duo staff, not by me), but, as mentioned above, there are quite some issues. We all make mistakes, don't we :)

I made the post above because it's quite difficult for me to find the sentences with wrong audio, without checking every single one. The course is more than a year old, and in that time many people used the "Audio does not sound correct" button to report that there was no audio at all. There is no way for me to delete all those old audio reports and only have the new/useful ones.

tl;dr: Main focus: fixing the (sometimes very) ungrammatical English, adding as many correct translations as possible, fixing hints, disabling wrong audio

P.S. I have finals coming up next month, so my pace will probably slow down for a while, but that definitely doesn’t mean I’m gone! :)


I have finals coming up next month

Ukisoma sana utafaulu :-)


Thank you for your hard work!


David, thanks a lot for the update. It's really good to hear a bit about what your priorities and schedule are. Reading the forum, it looks like a lot of people have been focused on the lack of audio, so I had been wondering a bit if that was also your main thing. I'm glad to hear the other things are on your radar too :). Can you say anything about how many reports are still in the backlog? (I can see from the mails I'm getting, that there is one ;))

And good luck with your exams :)


I am not a native speaker so I can't record new audio. I guess there are on average 2000 reports/skill (some less than 100, some more than 6000), so, well, a lot! :') And thank you!


Wow, we are working hard to learn Swahili!


I largely agree with this. Having the other errors fixed is more important to me than adding audio - especially when adding the audio has turned out to just add a whole slew of new errors to fix. Not at all meant as a criticism of David, I applaud any effort, but I think he got more than he bargained for, so I hope he'll stay on and also keep handling submitted reports too...

I think the English errors are getting more in the way in the higher levels - probably because the sentences get more complex, so in some cases it actually gets difficult to figure out what is meant. Also, I'm encountering more cases of correct answers not being accepted in the higher levels - probably because fewer people have done those levels, so there has been less feedback over time. In the lower levels it's a bit annoying, but doesn't really hinder progress. Section 4 (the one starting with Conditional Tense) is where it has really started to be getting in my way (though not all of section 4 is as bad as Conditional Tense and Prepositional Verbs which I mentioned above).


Less feedback at higher levels, but, perhaps more significantly, the original team (very sensibly) worked through the tree accepting reports and editing things from the top of the tree down. They certainly did a lot, but I don't think they did much or anything on the bottom portion of the tree.


Last few days I have seen a lot of new accepted translations (yesterday I got about ten of them in an hour! :-) . I started reporting badly formulated and meaningless Swahili sentences as well. I know there are translations that are fairly literally and there for not very good English. For me this is acceptable, because it helps me to understand the structure of Kiswahili.

I think in a next step the content of the course also needs to be updated. A lot of words are not very useful for a beginner.


These two sentences seem to have mismatched audio:

  • Watalii wanahitaji mizigo yao
  • Tukitaka kwenda Marekani tutahitaji viza


Onh cool very good danke




i am from Tanzania i can help by discussion, duolingo is the best. Natokea Tanzania naweza saidia kwa mijadala, duolingo ni bora sana


The sentence Uwiano wa vitabu na wanafunzi has mismatched audio.


The sentence Uwiano wa vitabu na wanafunzi has still mismatched audio, see its comment section https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/30841688


Sijambo! Na wewe?

Not sure if this is posted already, but "Mchana mwema Rehema" has the wrong audio. It sounds like part of the word 'asubuhi' is where 'mchana' should be.

Asante sana kwa kazi yangu! (Is that correct, anyone?)


Asante sana kwa kazi yangu!

"Thank you very much for my work!"


This one still appears to be a problem.

I assume the contributors did what they could regarding it some time ago.

Has there been any further word from staff about getting the fixes to "take"?


I didn't use the course for a (long) while but had noticed there had been improvements: I got probably hundreds of notifications by email from Duolingo advising me of the corrections of the reports I had made in the past. I was very impressed, thankful and also proud of both them and myself ;-) When I recently came back, I discovered the audio feature! This is incredible. They must have been working a lot! Thank you so very much for your hard work Duolingo-swahili team your efforts are appreciated


Three issues today: Intro lesson: Jina lake ni Juma (I hear yake, not lake) Lesson greetings: mchana sounds like miasiepno Lesson chores: Wanafunzi wanafagia chumba. I heard something very different, don't know what.

Reported them as well Keep on with the good work!


Habari leo?

Todays speech errors (reported them as well): Present2: Mama anatunza mtoto wake. I hear watoto Present2: mnaanza kuzumgunza. I hear unaanza

Asante sana kwa kaza mzuri!


Some more audio issues: Lesson people: walumu wenu and mhudumu sounds are swallowed by the speaker, hard to understand at this level. N/N: nina kamera nzuri, the first n is probably cut from the fragment. So it sounds more like una ...


Thank you so much!

For "Mama na Juma ni walimu" the corresponding comment describes the audio mismatch:

Heri na baraka za mwaka mpya!


This is amazing news!!!


I'm so glad most sentences now have audio! However, on this sentence the audio is definitely wrong. It's supposed to be "Umeme wa maji," yet the audio says "Sawasawa."


In the sentence "Ikiwa wakioga tutaenda msikitini" the audio sounds like "Ikiwa wakioga wataenda msikitini".


Can anyone address whether or not there will be audio in the Duolingo mobile app at some point? The website is great to hear the audio on but I mostly tend to use it on the go and there is no sound yet when I get audio exercises.


Definitely at some point, but you will probably have to wait for the next update.


Good good thanks, looking forward to it!


Audio in the app (iOS) is working fine for me. Possibly it's only missing on Android?


That's good to know! (I have Android and no audio.)


I've found another sentence with wrong audio: this sentence that is supposed to be "Maliza shule" has a garbled first word that definitely is not "maliza," although the "shule" part is right.


In the sentence Tunaanza kazi saa moja na nusu kamili the audio does not include kamili.


There is a sentence consisting of the word wiki, but the audio says wiki tatu.

Also, the audio in hawajachora picha is mangled.


Now is the time for me to restart learning Swahili.... Many Thanks to you


The sentence Krismasi tutaenda Serengeti has mismatched audio.


I'm not sure if you still look at this post, but the audio for this sentence is totally wrong. It's supposed to be "Pafu baya" but it's some long thing that's definitely not that. I can't even tell what it's saying, but I'm not that good at recognizing the audio.


Sorry to have yet another one, but this sentence's first word is garbled and not the right word, and when you hover over the first word ("Mchana") the audio is something completely different from either of them.


Audio mistake in the U/N nouns lesson: Umeme wa maji (hydroelectricity): the audio says sawasawa. Si sawasawa ! :)


In the "Conditional Past" skill the sentence Msingalienda msingalipika is mismatched with the audio Msingalipika msingalikula. (already reported by hannepanda two weeks ago)


machieng mentioned fixing it in the thread 9 months ago: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/30625879

Unfortunately, the wrong audio is still playing.


Mismatch still appears.
(31-Dec-2020, Android App)


The sentence fulana yangu has mismatched audio.


And the winner for the longest streak goes to DovahFerret!


For "Maembe hayajaiva" the "ja" part doesn't seem to be pronounced: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22092380 I don't know if this reflects the actual pronunciation or is an error.

Also, in the last few days, I've come across a number of the audio issues reported here but apparently not yet successfully fixed. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the fixes aren't "taking." Should we start submitting bug reports when we come across such instances?


Staff is aware of this and is working on the audio issues. (Apparently, the Klingon course has similar problems.)


"Ninasafiri na boti" sounds like "Ninasafiri kwa boti" https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27223855

There is some question in the thread about how natural the "na" version is. Anybody know?


Greetings-1/1: The word "mchana" is pronounced something like "?mausina?" here. Seems like an audio glitch. It also occurs in other exercises where the word "mchana" is spoken. This may be the same error referred to by another user in an earlier posting.

Thanks for all the work you have been doing recently in replying to suggestions for alternatives or corrections, some of them made years (!) ago. Polepole ndio mwendo!


Don't know if it's just my unaccustomed ear, but I agree with YoungGreg1 that the audio for "Hivi ni vitabu vya mwalimu" sounds like "Hivi ni vitabu vya walimu" instead. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26491426


U_N-Nouns/2: Clicking on the word button "Nyuso" brings up the audio "Hawajatembea."

Kwa mara nyingine tena, nasema asante sana kwa kazi kubwa unayofanya katika kusaidia maendeleo ya kozi hii ya Kiswahili.


An error in Stative Verbs: "Mlango haufungiki" is correct but the audio says "Mlango haufunguki". Reported.

I'll come back and add a few more that I spot as I practise.


Finally! Some audio to go along with the lesson!


we are very pleased with it, thanks a lot


Thank you so, so much! I can't wait to get started!


An error in a listening exercise in the Reciprocal Verbs skill. The audio says iba (or so), whereas the proper sentence is Mtachukuliana barua zenu.


Yet another mistake in the audio in "Condition Past": audio says Ningalienda shuleni ningalijua kusoma but the only accepted answer is Ningalienda shule ningalijua kusoma.


In the Habitual lesson: Audio says Hutatayarisha (you will not prepare), but the exercise is *Hutayarisha" (I/you/etc. prepare).


You really did a good job, for a very long time no audio bugs during my learning sessions.

Today I noticed a remaining mistake: In the "Body" skill the phrase pafu baya is still mismatched with the audio mwalimu ni?? mkuu hapa. (already reported by hannepanda some time ago).


mchana is always weird. Also some sentences only have one of the words with sound. It all seems a bit hit and miss. Also although having different voices to get used to is positive having a different voice for each word in a sentence is just daft. It makes it all seem very disjointed. Two voices would have been enough. The loud voice (Emilian?) is the one I prefer and then there could have been the contrasting soft female voice. I don't get why it has been done like this and it is somewhat disappointing having waited so long to get the sound at all.

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