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Online Swahili - English Dictionary

Change page language: Kiswahili | English

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News 13 Oct 2014: This dictionary now also returns results from the Microsoft Swahili terminology list, below the regular results!

Swahili noun class mini-reference:
1/2a-/wa-   7/8ki-/vi-
1/2a-/wa-   9/-i-/-
3/4u-/i-   9/10i-/zi-
3/4u-/i-   10 -/10-/zi-
5/-li-/-   9/10i-/zi-
5/6li-/ya-   11/10u-/zi-
6ya-   11/-u-
5/6li-/ya-   11/6u-/ya-
11/6u-/ya-   11/10u-/zi-
14/6u-/ya-   14u-
7/8ki-/vi-   14/6u-/ya-

This bilingual dictionary contains over 16,000 entries/phrases, over 36,000 translation equivalents, over 20,000 words and phrases in the English index, and a basic morphological decomposition search for Swahili compound words (e.g. tunaota). Related cross-references are also automatically displayed.

As of 13 October 2014, an additional over 4300 extra entries have been added to the search from the Microsoft Swahili terminology list.

This is the largest and longest-running online Swahili dictionary with any meaningful editorial quality control.

Swahili is a major language spoken in large parts of mainly East Africa, primarily as a lingua franca. The number of speakers is estimated to be between 50 million and 100 million.

This dictionary, created using TLex, has been online since May 2004, and is also the subject of lexicographic research. The dictionary‘s localization features include dynamic customization of the meta-language.

The dictionary also includes an integrated Sheng sub-lexicon - these entries are marked accordingly. You can also search the Sheng lexicon specifically by clicking here.

Corpus building: Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, David Joffe
Dictionary compilation: Sarah Hillewaert, Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, Pitta Joffe
Dictionary software: David Joffe, Malcolm MacLeod, Gilles-Maurice de Schryver

Jun 2018: Implemented SSL for enhanced security
Oct 2014: Fixed an issue for some Opera Mini users
Oct 2014: We had some downtime in early October, but are back online and not going away - this was caused by bad service from the MyDomain domain registration company - we'll be transferring away from them to make sure the site stays up in future

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