Swahili is a Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of eastern and south-eastern Africa. Estimates of the total number of Swahili speakers vary widely, from 50 million to over 100 million. Swahili serves as a national language of four nations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the DRC. It is also one of the working languages of the African Union and officially recognised as a lingua franca of the East African Community. A significant fraction of Swahili vocabulary is derived from Arabic through contact with Arabic-speaking Muslim inhabitants.
Native Speakers: 15,000,000
Region: Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Comoros, Mayotte, Zambia, Malawi, and Madagascar
Writing System: Latin script, Arabic script
Language Family: Niger–Congo, Atlantic–Congo, Benue–Congo, Southern Bantoid, Bantu, Northeast Coast Bantu, Sabaki, Swahili
Basic Phrases in Swahili