How to say sorry in Swahili: pole

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How to say sorry in Swahili: pole

Learning Swahili for travel or study? Let’s try this term:

To say sorry in Swahili: pole
Say it out loud: “poh lay

You can learn how to say sorry and over 220 other travel-friendly words and phrases with our inexpensive, easy-to-use Swahili language cheat sheets. We can help you make your next trip to another country even more fun and immersive. Click below!

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Some more helpful words in our Swahili Courtesy/Questions category:

...the bathroom – choo  (chōh)
come with me – kuangalia tu  (koo ah nn gah lee ah too)
do you speak english? – Kiingereza?  (kin geh reh zah)
excellent – bora  (boh rah)
excuse me – kumradhi  (koom rah dhee)
excuse me (to get past) – nipishe  (nee pee sheh)
good / bad – nzuri / mbaya  (n zoo' ree / mm by' uh)
how do you say…? – jinsi ya kusema?  (jeen see ya koo say muh?)
how much is this? – bei gani  (bay ee gah nee)
may I? (point at chair, door) – naweza  (na weh za)
maybe – pengine  (pen gee' nay)
no problem – hakuna matata  (ha koo nuh muh ta ta)
please – tafadhali  (tah fah dah lee)
sorry – pole  (poh lay)
thank you – ahsante  (ah sahn tay)
thanks – shukrani  (shook rah nee)
what is that? – nini hiyo  (nee nee hee yo)
where is… – wapi  (wah pee)
yes / no – ndio / la  (n dee' oh / lah)
you are welcome – karibu  (kah ree' boo)

And here’s how to say sorry in other languages!

Arabic–Aasef  (A sef)
Chinese–Duìbuqǐ  (Dway Boo Chee)
Croatian–oprostite  (oh pro stee tay)
Czech–promiňte  (pro MYEEN tay)
Finnish–anteeksi  (an teh ex ih)
French–pardon  (pahr doh)
German–pardon  (pahr dohn)
Italian–scusa  (skoo zuh)
Japanese–Gomennasai  (Goh Men Nah Sai)
Korean–Mianhapnida.  (Mi An Ham Ni Da.)
Polish–przepraszam  (pshe pra' sham)
Portuguese–Perdão  (pehr dah-oo)
Russian–izvinite  (eez vee nee tye)
Spanish–lo siento  (low see in toe)
Swahili–pole  (poh lay)
Thai–Kho Thot  (kaw TOAT)
Turkish–özür dilerim  (oh zoo dih leer im)
Vietnamese–Xin Lỗi  (Sin Loy)

You are in a new culture. You will unwittingly tramp on their ways, especially in diverse cultures like the Swahili. Luckily, most cultures are very understanding. All you need is to show that it was unintentional by saying "sorry" (pole) for the misunderstanding! So don't be afraid, have fun learning the new culture.

Get instant access to the Swahili Language Set.

Contributor

Carol Kimari
Biography: Carol is a skilled project manager and content specialist located in Nairobi, Kenya. She also runs an online portal for Kenyan Moms.
Born: Nairobi, Kenya
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Website : The Kenyan Mom

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