Lesson 1: Introduction
Swahili also known as Kiswahili is spoken by majority of the people in the Eastern Part of Africa. Countries like Kenya and Tanzania speak Swahili as their national language. Swahili is also the official language of the East African Community which comprises Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. Its use is spreading to southern, western and northern Africa.
Swahili is also a recognized minority language in Uganda, Congo, Mozambique, Oman and Somalia.
Origin of Swahili
Swahili is a rich mix of languages. It is predominantly a mix of local Bantu languages and Arabic. Around 3,000 years ago, speakers of the proto-Bantu language group began a millennia-long series of migrations; the Swahili people originate from Bantu inhabitants of the coast of Southeast Africa, in Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. They are mainly united under the mother tongue of Kiswahili, a Bantu language.
Decades of intensive trade along the East African coast resulted in this mix of cultures. Besides Arabic and Bantu, Swahili also has English, Persian, Portuguese, German and French influences due to trade contact.