Greeting and saying farewell in two Bantu languages: Swahili and Zulu

Beata Wójtowicz, Lionel Posthumus


The article discusses greetings and farewells of a typical conversation in two Bantu languages: Swahili and Zulu. The conversation usually comprises the greeting followed by the enquiry about each other’s well-being, the actual conversation, and then the parting farewell. The article outlines the importance of nonverbal, sociolinguistic, and situational factors of the salutation. The objectives of the paper are to explore the feasibility of considering the salutation in Bantu languages as being uniform, to determine some common trends in the salutation, and to discuss the aspects that may have an impact on the form of the salutation, in languages in general and in Swahili and Zulu in particular.


greetings, farewells, salutations, Swahili, Zulu, Bantu languages, African languages

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