Learn Swahili

Swahili, or Kiswahili, is a national language of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and the DRC, and is also spoken as a lingua franca across East Africa. People who speak it as a second language vastly outnumber those who speak it as a native language. Swahili is part of the Bantu language family, meaning it shares characteristics with languages such as Zulu, Kinyarwanda and Lingala, but its vocabulary has been strongly influenced by Arabic - even the name ‘Swahili’ comes from Arabic. Swahili has many dialects: the standard variant, Kiunguja, is based on the dialect of Zanzibar Town.

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Planet Earth

Where Is It Spoken?

Tanzania

Kenya

Uganda

People Talking

Number Of Speakers

80,000,000

Family Tree

Language Family

Bantu

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Fun facts about Swahili

Swahili borrows a lot of words from Arabic, such as dakika for minute, saa for hour and tafadhali for (please.

Forming a question is easy: you can just add 'je' to the front of the sentence.

The greeting 'habari' means 'news'- from 'what's your news?'

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