3 Best Ways To Say Yes/No/Ok In Swahili

Saying Yes/No/Ok In Swahili is one of the basic Swahili expressions you should learn when starting your learning journey in the Swahili language. If someone asks you right now to shop for your favorite things in the world without paying a dime, what will your response be?.. I am very sure you will say Yes. And if a not-so-close friend asks you to go out at 1 am in an unsafe place, you’d politely say No, Thank You.

You see, Yes, No, and Ok are the essential words we use to show our approval or disapproval of an idea, request, or information. Those are the basic words you should learn first in the Swahili Language. Of course, there are other phrases to know, like the Swahili greetings, how to introduce yourself, and basic Swahili phrases.

But this article will focus on the Swahili words for Yes, No, and Ok. Knowing the right Swahili words for these words can make staying in Kenya or Tanzania a bit easier because, most times, the questions you are being asked by the cab driver or the seller only require a Yes, a No, or an Ok.

Without further ado, let’s get this post started!

What To Know About The Swahili Language

Yes/No/Ok In Swahili

The Swahili language is the official language of Tanzania, and it is widely spoken in more than four East Africa Countries as the second language; Kenya inclusive, which makes Swahili the largest spoken language in the whole of East Africa.

This beautiful language has over 200 million speakers and is widely used in different parts of Africa. Arabic has dramatically influenced the Swahili language, and more than 40% of its vocabulary is loanwords from the Arabic language. This resulted from the contact and connection between the Arab slave traders and the Bantu Tribes.

If you are thinking of learning Swahili, then the first thing you should note is that the language is not complicated and it is easy to understand. Fortunately, it uses the Latin-script alphabet, a big bonus if you are a native English speaker or your native language also uses the Latin alphabet.

With the right resources like the Ling App, you can learn Swahili in no time and speak fluently like the East Africans.

Yes/No/Okay In Swahili

Yes/No/Ok In Swahili

How To Say Yes In Swahili

The Swahili word for Yes is Ndio, pronounced as it is spelled. Saying Ndio means you are affirming something or giving your approval to a suggestion, so it is not surprising to see Swahili speakers saying Ndio in daily conversations. So, feel free to use the word when you need to. Now, let’s check out some examples.


EnglishSwahili Translation
Person One: Are you going Home?
Person Two: Yes, I am so tired
Person One: Sorry. Do you want me to prepare dinner for you?
Person Two: Yes! I will love that. Thank You!
Person One: Je, unaenda nyumbani?
Person Two: Ndio, nimechoka
Person One: Pole. Unataka nikuandalie chakula cha jioni?
Person Two: Ndiyo! Nitapenda hilo. Asante!

How To Say No In Swahili

No – Hapana

Did someone ask if they can burn your favorite toy? Oh No! Saying No is the best way to show your disapproval about something or even cherish your own state of mind. Sometimes you have to say No, not because you don’t want to fulfill the other person’s wish but because it will be detrimental to you in the long run. Therefore, saying No in Swahili is Hapana, and you can use it anytime you need to say No. Let’s take a look at some good examples.


EnglishSwahili Translation
Person One: Did you steal the book?
Person Two: No! Of course not!
Person One: Did you just say No?
Person Two: I said No. Please check again.
Person One: Uliiba kitabu?
Person Two: Hapana! Bila shaka hapana!
Person One: Ulisema tu hapana?
Person Two: Nikasema Hapana. Tafadhali angalia tena.

How To Say Ok In Swahili

Yes/No/Ok In Swahili

Ok – Sawa

Some information doesn’t really make a difference. It is just to bring to your knowledge their idea or decision, and all you need to say is Ok. The Swahili phrase for Ok is Sawa, which is a great way to acknowledge that you’ve heard the other person Let’s take a look at some examples.


EnglishSwahili Translation
Person One: Janet has traveled back home
Person Two: Ok.
Person One: And she will be coming back next week
Person Two: Ok. That’s great!
Person One: Janet amesafiri kurudi nyumbani
Person Two: Sawa
Person One: Na atarudi wiki ijayo
Person Two: Sawa. Hiyo ni nzuri!

Now, You Know Your Yes/NO/Okay In Swahili!

Yay! Now you know the Swahili words for Yes/No/Ok in Swahili! You can easily show your approval or disapproval of something by saying any of that words! But that is not all! There are still a lot of useful phrases that you should learn in the Swahili language. Fortunately, if you are learning to speak Swahili, then you should definitely check out the Ling App!

Learn Swahili With Ling App!


Ling App is a language learning platform that features a gamified experience to make learning fun and enjoyable. You get full access to audio lessons, grammar lessons, intuitive quizzes, and loads of resources to go from a complete beginner to a fluent speaker in no time. You can check out the Swahili blog to learn more words and phrases. The Ling App offers 60+ languages alongside Swahili! You have all the language you want to learn close to you!

So, what are you waiting for? Download the Ling App today from Play Store and App Store.

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