In the process of researching my post on the multilingual ad (and let’s not slack off, people—there are words yet to be identified—kawi, bukola, yemashala…) I ran across the Internet Living Swahili Dictionary (aka the Kamusi Project, kamusi being Swahili for ‘dictionary’).

The Internet Living Swahili Dictionary is a collaborative work by people all over the world. Together we are working to establish new dictionaries of the Swahili language – Kiswahili – both within Swahili and between Swahili and English. We are preparing print-based dictionaries and multi-media Swahili learning applications, all accessible to you through this home page. We invite you to become a contributing editor – help refine our lexicon by using our unique Edit Engine. Swahili is the most widely spoken African language, with more than 50 million speakers in East Africa and Central Africa, particularly in Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and Kenya. We suggest that first-time visitors to the Kamusi Project take a few minutes to read through our page of Frequently Asked Questions.

I once got my Swahili to the point that I could read a simple newspaper story; this resource tempts me to renew my acquaintance.

Update (Sept. 2020). I’ve replaced the dead links with archived ones, but the Internet Living Swahili Dictionary is now online here (assuming it’s the same project).


  1. Interesting. Here are some more Swahili links – and if you go up one level, you’ll find links to other less commonly spoken languages.

  2. Thanks, Eliza! Hey, do you know about clarts?

  3. Clart is a pretty common northern English word for muck. Clarty is the adjective. I missed the earlier link – sorry!

  4. i like so much kamusi project i support this good one things.

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