Ever been moved by someone's kind gesture that you can't help yourself but say Asante? (thank you in Swahili). Saying thank you when someone makes a kind gesture is an ideal thing every human has to do, and it comes in handy when you are traveling to any of the Swahili-speaking countries. Africans are naturally respectful people that doesn't joke with gestures and words. They believe that one good turn deserves another and shows gratitude for even the smallest things.
In fact, it is only in Africa that someone will thank you again for a two-week-old kind gesture, therefore knowing how to say thank you in Swahili will come in handy! So, in this article, we will be going through the four best ways to say thank you in Swahili. These thank you words are important to keep in mind just in case any native speaker shows you an act of kindness. Let's get started!
We will explore the most popular ways of saying thank you and then the other ways you can also express your gratitude. Let's start with the Swahili language's most common thank you word.
Asante, pronounced (aa-san-ti) is the most popular way of saying thank you in almost all Swahili-speaking countries. So, if you go to Uganda, Kenya, or Tanzania, saying Asante is recognizable, and every dialect-spoken Swahili will acknowledge this kind thank you word.
If you want to take your expression of gratitude further, you can say Asante Sana, which means thanks a lot. So, let's say someone just did something that literally made your life easier in Kenya or any other Swahili-speaking country, saying Asante sana will not only lighten up the native speaker's mood but also let them know that you really appreciated their kind gesture.
Shukrani means thanks and is generally acceptable too. Saying Shukrani Sana, as you may have guessed, also means thanks a lot, and it also passes the thank you test.
Sticking with Asante as your thank you phrase, especially if you speak English, is ideal. Asante is acceptable in both formal and informal situations, so you don't stand a chance of provoking anyone (Africans are big on respect!). So, whether you are speaking to a 60-year-old businessman or a 5-year-old cute girl, Asante is acceptable in any place and at any time. So, feel free and say it with confidence!
Now that we've looked at the most popular way of saying thank you in Swahili, let's take a look at other popular thank you phrases you should know
Asante kwa muda wako
When someone has taken time out to listen to you or spend time helping you, saying Asante can be limiting. You can let them know that you appreciate their time by saying Asante kwa muda wako
Asante kwa ishara nzuri
If you've received a kind gesture from a stranger or friend, let's say someone invited you into their home and prepared delicious Swahili food for you to eat, saying asante kwa ishara nzuri is a great way to show your gratitude.
Asante kwa zawadi
Have you received a gift for your birthday or as a tip? Then, you can easily say Asante kwa zawadi meaning thank you for the gift.
Hivyo ni vizuri sana kwako
There are more words to explore, but the last one we will take a look at is Hivyo ni vizuri sana kwako which means that is very kind of you.
While it is great to know how to say Asante, what if you are the one receiving the thanks? How are you going to reply? Well, there are various ways to reply with a thank you phrase, and we will take a look at them.
The first word we will be looking at is Karibu, and it is also the most popular way to reply to an appreciation. Karibu means you are welcome and it can be used in any type of situation. So, whenever someone appreciates you for your kind gesture, a simple Karibu will let the person know that you acknowledge their appreciation
Kamwe means not at all. Alternatively, it can also mean never mind. You use Kamwe when you feel that there is no need to receive thanks, and it is often used to tell the person to stop thanking you for something they deserve. Saying Kamwe is polite and is also acceptable in all situations.
I hope you were able to pick the best thank you phrase that you can use in Kenya and other Swahili-speaking countries. Now that we've learned the best ways to say thank you in Swahili, you may want to take it a step further. You see, Swahili is an official language belonging to four countries and is easy to learn. So, if you are considering taking your Swahili learning a step further, let me introduce you to a language learning app called the Ling App, where you can learn Swahili.
Ling App comes with amazing loads of effective resources and features targeted at teaching Swahili language learners the core skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. With just 10 minutes per day, you can move from a beginner to a fluent speaker in a short period. It comes with thoughtful grammar lessons, interactive quizzes, games, a chatbot to improve speaking, and loads of resources to teach you the culture and lifestyle of Swahili speakers. In addition, the Ling App teaches overs more than 60+ languages.