Nairobi - Post Report Question and Answers

How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You don't need Kiswahili, but it's nice to learn some phrases. The Embassy teacher is awesome. I've taken other lessons too which were good and affordable. - Apr 2021


English is spoken everywhere. - Nov 2020


As English is truly widely spoken, you don't really need to learn the local language except for pleasantries to be polite/nice. - Dec 2018


None. You don't need Swahili to get around here, but it can't hurt to learn a little. Post's language program is really good. The little I picked up in classes went a long way with the locals. - Dec 2018


The US Embassy offers Kiswahili and you can also take lessons at the National Museum of Kenya. You can get by with English but if you are outside of the city it is great to know some Kiswahili. People are also more willing to negotiate if you speak the language. - Jun 2018


Kiswahili is not strictly necessary, but it is an easy language to get a basic handle on. There are many tutors available. Again, most Kenyans speak British English. - Jul 2016


Not much. English is official langugae - Sep 2015


None, but it helps if you know some. The locals will be happy with you! - Aug 2015


Not much - greetings, thank you, etc. are enough but more is better. There's an excellent Kiswahili teacher in the Embassy offering lunchtime and evening classes or as-needed. - Jul 2015


None, but speaking Swahili to the locals will give you props. - May 2015


Not much but basic greetings and phrases will be appreciated. - Dec 2014


English is common as is Kiswahili. - Jun 2014


None. Locals appreciate a little Kiswahilli, but everyone speaks English. - Jun 2014


None, although a bit of Swahili helps. - Jul 2013


None. Everyone speaks English. But some Swahili is appreciated by locals. - Jun 2013


None. Everyone speaks English. They might not understand your accent, but that can go both ways. - Dec 2012


English is an official language. Kiswahili is widely-spoken but rarely necessary. - Aug 2012


English will get you by just fine. - Dec 2011


English is one of the official languages of Kenya. It's good to know some polite words in Swahili. - Dec 2011


Very little. - Sep 2011


None. - Dec 2010


Not much, but it is good to know some words of Kiswahili. The kids learn it in school which is nice. - Dec 2009


Not really any. - Jul 2009


None. - Jun 2008


English is fine though a smattering of Swahili is always appreciated. - Feb 2008


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