Talking of different languages, Swahili language is also known as Kiswahili. It is a language of Bantu origin which is the first language spoken by the Swahili people. We are taking a detailed look into the Swahili speaking countries in Africa.
Places that make up the region of the African Great Lakes have this language as their official language as do people who make up parts of Southeastern and eastern Africa. These places include Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The language is spoken in the Comoros Islands, known as “Comorian” is usually said to be a Swahili dialect even though authorities on the matter say that it is a distinct language on its own.
SWAHILI SPEAKING COUNTRIES IN AFRICA
Up till today, the exact number of people who speak Swahili either as a first language or as a second language is not known and is often debated. There have been various estimates based on various data and they range from 50 million to more than 100 million speakers. In four nations namely, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Swahili is a national language. The language known as Shikomor which is the official language spoken in the Comoros Islands is a related language to Swahili.
Presently, Swahili is a working language of the African Union amongst other languages that serve in the same capacity and officially, it is recognized as the lingua Franca of nations that make up the East African Community.
When it comes to vocabulary, a good amount of Swahili vocabulary is gotten from Arabic as a result of contact established with Persian-speaking inhabitants of the area.
LIST OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES THAT SPEAK SWAHILI
Tanzania is known officially as the United Republic of Tanzania and is a country which can be found in Eastern Africa. It is located in the Great African Lakes region of the continent and borders Kenya and Uganda to the north. To the west, it borders Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Burundi while to the south, Tanzania borders Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi. To the east, this nation borders the Indian Ocean.
The highest mountain located in Africa, Mountain Kilimanjaro, can be found in the northeastern part of this nation.
This nation is quite mountainous and also features dense forests as well towards the northeastern region where the mountain can be found. Tanzania is also the partial home to three of the great lakes in Africa. Towards the North and west can be found, Lakes Victoria, and Lake Tanganyika. The former is the largest lake in the whole of Africa while the deepest lake on the continent.
There are more than 100 languages which can be found being spoken in this nation and for that, it is known as the most diverse nation in East Africa in terms of linguistics. There is no de jure official language in this country, but Swahili is the nation’s national language. English is also spoken and used in foreign trade as well as diplomacy and in schools as well. A good percentage of Tanzanians have Swahili as their first language while a larger percentage have it as a second language.
This nation is located in East Africa. The capital of Kenya in Nairobi, which also happens to be the largest city in the country. The territory claimed by Kenya can be found lying on the equator while overlying the East African Rift. This all covers a wide terrain which stretches from Lake Victoria down to Lake Turkana and then moves down further south-east till it reaches the Indian Ocean. Kenya is bordered by Tanzania towards the South as well as the south-west. To the West, it is bordered by Uganda and to the North West, it is bordered by South Sudan. It has Ethiopia bordering it to the North, while Somalia borders it to the North East. This nation has a land area of about 581,309 square kilometers and has a population reaching up to 48 million people.
The two official languages in Kenya are English language and Swahili.
This is a landlocked nation which can be found in East Africa. To the east, Uganda is bordered by Kenya, and to the north, it is bordered by South Sudan. It is bordered to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo while to the South West, the nation is bordered by Rwanda. It is bordered by Tanzania to the South. A big part of Lake Victoria is contained in the southern part of this nation.
The official languages in Uganda are English language and Swahili. Other languages spoken include Luganda, Luo, Rukiga, Runyankole as well as Runyoro.
This nation is located in central as well as Eastern Africa and is known to be one of the smallest nations which can be found on the mainland of Africa. The principal language in this nation is Kinyarwanda. English, as well as Swahili, is also commonly spoken, with Swahili acting as a second language to some.
Burundi is a landlocked African country which can be found in Eastern Africa, in the region of the African Great Lakes. It is bordered to the North by Rwanda, to the east and south by Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the West. This nation is also considered by some to be part of Central Africa. Swahili is an accepted language in this nation and is spoken by some.
This sovereign state is located in the horn of Africa. Bravanese and Kibajuni are both languages spoken by groups of people in this nation. However, the official languages in Somalia are Somali and Arabic.
This is another landlocked African nation and is located in Southeast Africa. Swahili is an accepted language in this nation.
This is a landlocked African country and can be found in South-Central Africa. Swahili speaking groups can be found at the borders of this nation.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO:
This African nation is found in central Africa. The official language in the country is French. There are about 242 languages spoken in the country but out of them, just four are known as national languages namely; Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba, and Kituba.
This country is situated in Southeast Africa. Portuguese is the official language spoken in this country but Swahi8li is also spoken in a small area of the coast of Mozambique which is close to the Tanzanian border.
Still On Swahili Speaking Countries In Africa
WONDERFUL FACTS ABOUT THE SWAHILI LANGUAGE
- It is a vibrant mixture of several languages: Majorly, Swahili is a mix of both local Bantu languages as well as Arabic. The mix of cultures arose from decades of intensive trade relations which occurred along the coast of East Africa and aside from Bantu languages and Arabic, there are also some English, German, Persian, Portuguese as well as French language elements in the Swahili language.
- Arabic Roots: An estimated 35% of the language can be attributed to Arabic even though there are elements that were adopted from other languages as well.
- There is a large number of speakers worldwide: An estimated 5 – 15 million people with Swahili as their mother tongue exist in the world and are usually known as Waswahili.
- Coastal Trading Language: This was a major reason why the language was developed in the first place. “Kiswahili” which is the word for Swahili language and “Swahili” is plural for a word in Arabic which means “Coast”. The “Ki” in front of it, sums it up to mean “Coastal Language”. The language up until today is still best spoken by those along the coast.
- Many Countries speak it: It is an official language of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is also very well spoken in Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique as well as North Zambia.
- The language is also international: There are media outlets which have programs done in Swahili such as BBC Swahili.
- Easy to Learn: Swahili is widely regarded as the easiest African language to learn for English speakers.
- Easy to Read: It is also known as a very easy language to read because they are pronounced as written.
- Many Dialects: The language is quite fluid and is comprised of many dialects, in many cases, even within the same country. It is possible for Swahili speakers to find it hard to understand some of the dialects themselves.
- Swahili-English Hybrid: Yes, this exists. “Sheng” which is spoken in Nairobi is a combination of Swahili and English.
- The language has been around for a very long time: Swahili dates back centuries and there are known documents of Swahili written in Arabic script which can be traced back to 1711.
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CONCLUSION SWAHILI SPEAKING COUNTRIES IN AFRICA
These African countries either have Swahili as official languages or have it spoken in small areas of the country by some groups, but in any case, it is evident that the language is a major language on the continent of Africa.
Tags: Swahili Speaking Countries In Africa, List Of African Countries That Speak Swahili