Kiswahili (Swahili)

Photo by Martin Bekerman on Unsplash
Photo by Martin Bekerman on Unsplash

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

Hello hujambo
Goodbye kwa heri
Yes ndiyo
No Hapana
Excuse me… Samahani
Please tafadhali
Thank you Asante