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Swahili Language Facts and Information

Information About Swahili Language

Swahili language topics and discussion
Swahili speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Niger-Congo
Branch: Bantu
Continent: Africa
Country: Tanzania
Region: Zanzibar, coastal areas. Also spoken in Burundi, Kenya, Mayotte, Mozambique, Oman, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, UAE, USA. CONGO: Throughout the Katanga, Nord-Kivu, Sud-Kivu, and Maniema provinces and the southeastern part of the Orientale Province. There are other varieties of Swahili in East Africa.
Countries Where Spoken: 313,200 monolinguals or 1.8%, 93.4% bilinguals in Tanzania (1982 Polome). Population total all countries 5,000,000 first language speakers (1989 Holm); 30,000,000 second language users (1989 Holm). Burundi, Kenya, Mayotte, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda. CONGO: There may be a few mother tongue speakers in cities. Second language for 9,100,000 (1991 UBS).
Countries Where Official: Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo
Native Speakers: 5,000,000
Speakers Total: 30,000,000
Phrasebase members who speak Swahili at a native level: 160
Phrasebase members who speak Swahili at a conversational level: 160
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Swahili: 313
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Swahili: 690
Three Letter Code: SWA
Summary: Rural people are second language users; they use the local language for most activities, but Swahili with outsiders. National language. Dictionary. SVO. Used through secondary education and in some university courses. Muslim. Bible 1891-1996. CONGO: Kingwana is a pidgin Swahili which functions sociolinguistically as a dialect. There are several regional dialects, with that of eastern Kivu being closest to Swahili of Kenya and Tanzania. About 30% lexical similarity to Lingala and to the Lega group, 15% to 20% with Bira-Huku group, Bali, and Lika. National language. Bible 1960-1997.

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