Ever thought of a world without a language?
Language is key for the effective running of activities in any society, company, organization, etc.
With over 23 years’ experience in Swahili, the language (Kiswahili) has become my native language. My interaction and knowledge of Kiswahili began long ago at the age of two (mostly because my parents and the society at large used it).
Learning Kiswahili and English in pre-school, primary school, high school, and eventually taking Kiswahili as a course unit of study during University has enabled me to acquire vast knowledge in the language.
The following facts about Swahili/Kiswahili are important to note:
- SWAHILI is a community (the users) while KISWAHILI is a language. This is entirely dependent on the speakers.
- It is a mixture of languages. Not only is it predominantly a mixture of Bantu and Arabic languages, but it also includes words from English and Portuguese.
- The language originates from East African countries mainly due to the trade that took place between the Arabic nations, Coastal Africans, and the Europeans.
- Kiswahili is a language spoken widely across Africa by approximately 90 million speakers. It is still on the rise, especially in Africa.
- It is a national language in Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda.
- The language has dynamics that include the following:
It has five vowel phonemes:- /a/, /∑/, /i/, /ↄ/ and /u/