Language Studies Update: Mechanics Work!

4/09/2012 04:26:00 AM sendtheroths 2 Comments

We are now over a month in to our Swahili studies and have began to build a firm foundation. We are hopeful that at the end of our three months we will be comfortable enough to hear Swahili, decode at conversational speed and respond well. But, we are seeing that conversational Swahili vocabulary and Biblical vocabulary differ greatly. One example is the word “to do.” In conversation the word is “fanya” but in the Bible the word is “tenda."

Though Swahili is easy to learn in concept, it is difficult in the practice of it. The structure is somewhat simple but the application of it, not so much. Swahili follows a clear and easy set of rules but often times these rules differ from our English programmed structure of speaking.

Swahili uses a basic sentence structure that goes by the acronym: STROVE – Subject, Tense, Relative, Object, Verb, Ending. This in mind, one word can be an entire sentence. Such as the word watakapokuenda meaning: when they will be going with you.  Wa – subject “they”; ta – tense “future”; kapo – relative “when”; ku – object “you”; enda – verb “go” so literally as we would think of it in English: they will when you be going. 

We are well on our way in Swahili but it will take another two months to think in Swahili at conversational speed. However, it will take about another three months to get used to the Swahili spoken in Congo. 

Please pray that our language studies continue well and that we absorb Swahili as much as possible. Pray that we learn the mechanics well!


  1. Missing you, can wait to see and hear you speak Swahili. Three language under your belt is a great accomplishment. I'm proud of you. A Continuous pray going your way. God speed be with both of you guys. Love you both dearly. Be bless and stay safe <><