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Frequently Asked Questions

Archived Page

This is a page from the Kamusi archives. The information below may be out of date, and the links may no longer be valid. Please visit for current information. If you know of links or information on this page that can be updated, please let us know.

Kamusi Project Frequently Asked Questions

This page is years out of date. Kamusi has now expanded well beyond our original Swahili focus. Updating this FAQ page is on our to-do list - please bear with us. If you have questions you think should be answered on this page, please email

We receive a great variety of questions about our project, Swahili and other African languages, and many other topics. If your questions are not answered on this page, we encourage you to post them on the Swahili discussion forum, as we are often unable to answer direct queries.

Kamusi is rapidly evolving. We began as a project for the Swahili language. Then we began applying our experience to other African languages. Then we realized that our model could work for any language, so we re-engineered the dictionary. Now we are working toward "every word in every language" - which opens room for a lot of questions.

Questions about the Project:

* What is the Kamusi Project?
* Who runs the Kamusi Project?
* How can I contribute to the Kamusi Project?
* Can I buy a printed copy of the Internet Living Swahili Dictionary?
* What is the history of the Kamusi Project?
* What is the Edit Engine and how do I use it?
* Can I link to the Kamusi Project? How do I link to a specific page or dictionary entry? Can you add a link to my site?

Questions about Swahili and other African languages:
* What is Swahili?
* Why do some people say "Swahili" and others say "Kiswahili," and which term is correct? What does the "Ki" mean in "Kiswahili?" Why do some people write "Kiswahili" and some people write "KiSwahili" with a capital "S" in the middle of the word? * Where is Swahili spoken?
* Can you translate a passage for me, or is there a "translation" site that can convert between Swahili and English?
* Can you recommend books or tapes for learning Swahili?
* Where can I take Swahili classes?
* How do I pronounce words in Swahili?
* What alphabet is used for Swahili?
* I'm looking for a Swahili name -- what name should I choose?
* What is the meaning of the saying on my fabric from East Africa?
* Is this word or phrase Swahili, and what does it mean?
* Are there projects similar to the Kamusi Project for other African languages?
* Where can I find information about other African languages?

Other Questions:
* What can you tell me about Kwanzaa?
* What can you tell me about The Lion King?
* What can you tell me about Mighty Joe Young?
* What can you tell me about Basenji dogs?


Kamusi GOLD

These are the languages for which we have datasets that we are actively working toward putting online. Languages that are Active for you to search are marked with "A" in the list below.


•A = Active language, aligned and searchable
•c = Data 🔢 elicited through the Comparative African Word List
•d = Data from independent sources that Kamusi participants align playing 🐥📊 DUCKS
•e = Data from the 🎮 games you can play on 😂🌎🤖 EmojiWorldBot
•P = Pending language, data in queue for alignment
•w = Data from 🔠🕸 WordNet teams

Software and Systems

We are actively creating new software for you to make use of and contribute to the 🎓 knowledge we are bringing together. Learn about software that is ready for you to download or in development, and the unique data systems we are putting in place for advanced language learning and technology:

Articles and Information

Kamusi has many elements. With these articles, you can read the details that interest you:

Videos and Slideshows

Some of what you need to know about Kamusi can best be understood visually. Our 📽 videos are not professional, but we hope you find them useful:


Our partners - past, present, and future - include:

Hack Kamusi

Here are some of the work elements on our task list that you can help do or fund:

Theory of Kamusi

Select a link below to learn about the principles that guide the project's unique approach to lexicography and public service.

Contact Us

We welcome your comments and questions, and will try to respond quickly. To get in touch, please visit our contact page. You must use a real email address if you want to get a real reply!

© Copyright ©

The Kamusi Project dictionaries and the Kamusi Project databases are intellectual property protected by international copyright law, ©2007 through ©2018, under the joint ownership of Kamusi Project International and Kamusi Project USA. Further explanation may be found on our © Copyright page.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


Discussion items about language, technology, and society, from the Kamusi editor and others. This box is growing. To help develop or fund the project, please contact us!

Our biggest struggle is keeping Kamusi online and keeping it free. We cannot charge money for our services because that would block access to the very people we most want to benefit, the students and speakers of languages around the world that are almost always excluded from information technology. So, we ask, request, beseech, beg you, to please support our work by donating as generously as you can to help build and maintain this unique public resource.


Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to general questions you might have about Kamusi services.

We are building this page around real questions from members of the Kamusi community. Send us a question that you think will help other visitors to the site, and frequently we will place the answer here.

Try it : Ask a "FAQ"!

Press Coverage

Kamusi in the news: Reports by journalists and bloggers about our work in newspapers, television, radio, and online.

Sponsor Search:
Who Do You Know?

To keep Kamusi growing as a "free" knowledge resource for the world's languages, we need major contributions from philanthropists and organizations. Do you have any connections with a generous person, corporation, foundation, or family office that might wish to make a long term impact on educational outcomes and economic opportunity for speakers of excluded languages around the world? If you can help us reach out to a potential 💛😇 GOLD Angel, please contact us!