Swahili Resources


It can be difficult to find good resources for learning Swahili, so this page is designed to help anyone interested in studying the language.



I would argue (and many would agree!) that there really is no good Swahili textbook written in English. If you are studying on your own, I would recommend Teach Yourself Swahili (Amazon), which offers a great introduction to the language in a format that is suitable for those studying on their own. A good dictionary all in Swahili is the one published by Oxford. If you have access to interlibrary loan services, you can get access to collections of Swahili books, such as the University of Kansas Swahili collection.



A number of Swahili television shows and movies are available online, including .

  • Siri ya Mtungi (high quality TV show with English subtitles, two seasons)
  • Chumo (medium-length film with English subtitles)
  • Shamba Shape Up (high quality TV show about best practices for small scale agriculture in East Africa)
  • The Team (TV show)
  • Ubongo Kids (educational cartoon show for children, also a great resource for students of Swahili)
  • Fema TV (TV show exploring women’s rights issues in East Africa)
  • Dar ni Sisi (short documentary exploring poverty in Dar es Salaam, with English subtitles)
  • Mwamba Ngoma (documentary about music in Tanzania, with English subtitles)

For other media please send an email to rgriscom@uoregon.edu.

If you have a smart phone, you can download the ITV live streaming app (not available for use with computers), which allows you to watch two Tanzanian television channels, ITV and Capital TV. The ITV evening news is aired every day at 8 PM East Africa Time and is a good way to get access to news from Tanzania that is otherwise difficult to come by.

Web Resources

There are a number of websites with Swahili learning material. One of the most noteworthy is the online material hosted by the University of Kansas, available from their website here and as a backup here. It includes lesson material for an entire course in Swahili and is a great resource for students. Other sites include:

Swahili Courses

Swahili is widely taught outside of East Africa. Here are some institutions that offer courses in Swahili:

North America