What Does Swahili Mean In English

What does the word Swahili literally mean?

Swahili has become a lingua franca for East Africa and surrounding areas. … The name Swahili comes from the plural of the Arabic word sahel ساحل: sawahil سواحل meaning “boundary” or “coast” (used as an adjective to mean “coastal dwellers” or by extension “coastal language”).

What is meant by the word Swahili?

Definition of Swahili

1 : a member of a Bantu-speaking people of Zanzibar and the adjacent coast. 2 : a Bantu language that is a trade and governmental language over much of East Africa and in the Congo region.

Is Swahili a Spanish word?

See Google Translate’s machine translation of ‘Swahili’.

Principal Translations
Inglés Español
Swahili n uncountable (African language) (idioma) swahili nm Exemplos: el televisor un piso.

Is Swahili Arabic?

Swahili is predominantly a mix of local Bantu languages and Arabic. 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.

Why is Swahili so popular?

1. Swahili is spoken by over 100m people in Africa so it’s pretty hard to ignore a language that’s spoken by so many people. Its importance as a lingua franca is recognised by foreign media organisations such as the BBC which broadcasts radio programmes in Swahili.

Is Bantu a Swahili?

Swahili is characteristically Bantu in its grammar and it has a large vocabulary of word roots traceable to a common Bantu stock.

What countries speak Swahili in Africa?

It’s a national language in Kenya Uganda and Tanzania and an official language of the East African Community which comprises Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Burundi and South Sudan.

What are some Swahili words?

  • Yes: ndiyo.
  • No: hapana.
  • Thank you: asante.
  • Thank you very much: asante sana.
  • Please: tafadhali.
  • OK: sawa.
  • Excuse me: samahani.
  • You’re welcome: starehe.

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Who speaks Swahili?

Over 50 million people in eastern and central African speak Swahili. It is widelyused in Kenya Tanzania and Uganda. A little over one million people speak it as theirfirst language.

Do they speak Swahili in Nigeria?

Swahili is an official language of people living in Kenya Tanzania and Uganda and which is also widely spoken in the Eastern Africa region. … It is the native tongue of people inhabiting Nigeria Benin and Togo and of communities in other parts of Africa Europe and the Americas.

Is Swahili easy to learn?

How hard is it to learn? Swahili is said to be the easiest African language for an English speaker to learn. It’s one of the few sub-Saharan African languages that have no lexical tone just like in English. It’s also much easier to read as you read out Swahili words just the way they are written.

Is Swahili similar to Zulu?

They’re really dialects of the same language they’re very closely related. Zulu speakers can understand a Xhosa speaker. But the two groups of people do not recognize this fact so they are counted as separate languages and so you have a problem with counting. I’ve seen 600 – 1000 Bantu languages.

How widely spoken is Swahili?

Estimates of the total number of Swahili speakers vary widely from 60 million to over 150 million. Swahili serves as a national language of four nations: Tanzania Kenya Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

What race is Swahili?

The Swahili people (Swahili language: WaSwahili) are a Bantu ethnic group inhabiting East Africa. Members of this ethnicity primarily reside on the Swahili coast in an area encompassing the Zanzibar archipelago littoral Kenya the Tanzania seaboard northern Mozambique the Comoros Islands and Northwest Madagascar.

What is the most spoken language in Africa?

While Arabic is the most spoken language in Africa there’s plenty more – other popular languages include Amharic Berber Portuguese Oromo Igbo Yoruba Zulu and Shona.

Is Swahili a beautiful language?

Swahili is spoken primarily in Kenya and Tanzania but speakers of this beautiful language can be found right across the continent of Africa.

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Which language is easiest to learn?

10 Easiest Languages for English speakers to learn
  1. Afrikaans. Like English Afrikaans is in the West Germanic language family. …
  2. French. …
  3. Spanish. …
  4. Dutch. …
  5. Norwegian. …
  6. Portuguese. …
  7. Swedish. …
  8. Italian.

What is the Swahili alphabet?

The Swahili alphabet consists of five vowels and twenty-five consonants almost like the English alphabet. The vowels as we mentioned before include a e i o u. The consonants include b c d f g h j k l m n p r s t v w y z.

What is Swahili a mix of?

It is the mixture of Perso-Arab and Bantu cultures in Kilwa that is credited for creating Swahili as a distinctive East African culture and language.

Does SA speak Swahili?

The exact number of Swahili speakers is unknown but it is often accepted as one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa and is recognized as an official language in Kenya Rwanda the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Uganda and Tanzania. …

Does Mozambique speak Swahili?

Mozambique is a multilingual country. A number of Bantu languages are indigenous to Mozambique. … Other widely spoken languages include Swahili Makhuwa Sena Ndau and Tswa-Ronga (Tsonga). Other indigenous languages of Mozambique include Lomwe Makonde Chopi Chuwabu Ronga Kimwani Zulu and Tswa.

What is the most spoken language in the world?

The most spoken languages in the world
  • English (1.132 million speakers)
  • Mandarin (1.117 million speakers)
  • Spanish (534 million speakers)
  • French (280 million speakers)
  • Arabic (274 million speakers)
  • Russian (258 million speakers)
  • Portuguese (234 million speakers)

What religion is most common among the Swahili today?

Today most Swahili people are Sunni Muslims. It is the largest group within the religion of Islam. The Swahili Coast peaked during the medieval period. This happened from around the 11th century to the 15th century.

Who speaks Zulu in the world?

South Africa

Zulu language a Bantu language spoken by more than nine million people mainly in South Africa especially in the Zululand area of KwaZulu/Natal province. The Zulu language is a member of the Southeastern or Nguni subgroup of the Bantu group of the Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo language family.

How do you flirt in Swahili?

How to Flirt in Swahili: Top Words and Phrases
  1. Unasura nzuri sana. Meaning: You’re so handsome.
  2. Una maanisha mengi sana kwangu. Meaning: You mean so much to me.
  3. Tumekusudiwa tuwe pamoja. …
  4. Wewe unapendeza. …
  5. Sisi tunafaa kuwa pamoja. …
  6. Nataka kuwa na wewe milele. …
  7. Una tabasamu nzuri. …
  8. Ninakupa upendo wangu wote.

What is the African word for God?


Mungu is a common Bantu term for God. Some other Bantu languages use a variant form Mulungu.

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How do you swear in Swahili?

laana. laani.

Is Lingala spoken in Uganda?

Lingala is the national language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as the Republic of the Congo. It’s also spoken in Angola Central African Republic Uganda Rwanda and even the USA Belgium and Canada. Internationally there are about 10 million Lingala speakers.

Is Swahili spoken in Rwanda?

The Rwandan National Assembly has adopted a law to make Swahili an official language of the country. … It will become the fourth official language of the country with Kinyarwanda the national language along with French and English used in official communication.

Who speaks Lingala in the world?

the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Lingala is spoken by more than 10 million people in a region comprising the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo south to its capital Kinshasa and the northern part of the Republic of the Congo particularly in part of its capital Brazzaville.

What is the hardest language to learn in Africa?

Taa the last vital language of the Tuu language family and formerly called ʻSouthern Khoisan’ it is believed to be the world’s most difficult language. Part of the Khoisan language group and is spoken in the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa it is also known as !

Is Swahili harder than French?

No Swahili is not hard to pronounce. It’s very easy to pronounce actually! Easier than Spanish or French for an English speaker and about as hard as Bahasa Indonesia. The short vowels (a e i o u) are pronounced loosely like they are in Spanish or Bahasa Indonesia.

What African language should I learn?

Arguably the most useful indigenous African languages for Americans to learn are Yoruba (primarily spoken in Nigeria) Xhosa (South Africa) Swahili (Kenya Tanzania and much of East Africa) and Amharic (mainly Ethiopia).

Why are Zulus called Zulus?

The Zulu language of which there are variations is part of the Nguni language group. The word Zulu means “Sky” and according to oral history Zulu was the name of the ancestor who founded the Zulu royal line in about 1670. … “The writing of Zulu was started by missionaries in the then Natal.

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