Frequently Asked Questions

Kamusi Project Frequently Asked Questions

This page is years out of date. Kamusi has now expanded well beyond our original Swahili focus. Updating this FAQ page is on our to-do list - please bear with us.
If you have questions you think should be answered on this page, please email

We receive a great variety of questions about our project, Swahili and other African languages, and many other topics. If your questions are not answered on this page, we encourage you to post them on the Swahili discussion forum, as we are often unable to answer direct queries.

Kamusi is rapidly evolving. We began as a project for the Swahili language. Then we began applying our experience to other African languages. Then we realized that our model could work for any language, so we re-engineered the dictionary. Now we are working toward "every word in every language" - which opens room for a lot of questions.

Questions about the Project:

* What is the Kamusi Project?

* Who runs the Kamusi Project?

* How can I contribute to the Kamusi Project?

* Can I buy a printed copy of the Internet Living Swahili Dictionary?

* What is the history of the Kamusi Project?

* What is the Edit Engine and how do I use it?

* Can I link to the Kamusi Project? How do I link to a specific page or dictionary entry? Can you add a link to my site?

Questions about Swahili and other African languages:

* What is Swahili?

* Why do some people say "Swahili" and others say "Kiswahili," and which term is correct? What does the "Ki" mean in "Kiswahili?" Why do some people write "Kiswahili" and some people write "KiSwahili" with a capital "S" in the middle of the word?
* Where is Swahili spoken?

* Can you translate a passage for me, or is there a "translation" site that can convert between Swahili and English?

* Can you recommend books or tapes for learning Swahili?

* Where can I take Swahili classes?

* How do I pronounce words in Swahili?

* What alphabet is used for Swahili?

* I'm looking for a Swahili name -- what name should I choose?

* What is the meaning of the saying on my fabric from East Africa?

* Is this word or phrase Swahili, and what does it mean?

* Are there projects similar to the Kamusi Project for other African languages?

* Where can I find information about other African languages?

Other Questions:

* What can you tell me about Kwanzaa?

* What can you tell me about The Lion King?

* What can you tell me about Mighty Joe Young?

* What can you tell me about Basenji dogs?

Kamusi Project

Kamusi is the Swahili word for "Dictionary", and dictionaries are what we do. Our goal is to provide every word in every language, for free to everyone, everywhere