Swahili Publishing Terms

The following Swahili terms were compiled by David Westley as a quick list to assist library catalogers working with Swahili books.

Note: Different verbal concords may be used depending on what noun class the author implies. Ki is most frequent referring to kitabu but ui and other verbal prefixes may also be used. The perfect tense me- is found most frequently, but the past tense -li- may also occur.

kwanza- first
pili- second
tatu- third
nne- fourth

chapa- edition

chapa ya kwanza 1st edition, etc.

diwani- anthology (pl. madiwani)

fasihi- literature

mwandishi- author  (pl. waandishi)

mtunzi- author  (pl. watunzi)

mtungaji-author  (pl. watungaji)

mhariri-editor  (pl.wahariri)

mchezo- play  (pl. michezosura)

onyesha- scene

onyesha la kwanza- scene one

kitabu- book  (pl. vitabu)

kitabu cha Pili- book two

Kilichapishwa kwa mara ya kwanza na East African Literature Bureau mnamo 1961 – First published by the EALB in 1961

Kilinakiliwa mwaka 1971. – Reprinted 1971.

kimeandikwa na- written by

kimetungwa na- written by

kimetafsiriwa na- translated by

kimechapishwa- printed, published

kimepigwa chapa na- printed by

kimechorwa na- illustrated by

mchoro- illustration  (pl. michoro)

picha na- illustrated by

na- of, and, by

riwaya- novel (pl. riwaya)

shairi- poem (pl.mashairi-poetry)

sura- chapter

sura ya kwanza- chapter one

Tolewa hili la tatu ni la East African Publishing House, 1971- Third edition published 1971 by EAPH.

wasifu- biography  (pl.-wasifu)