Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of East and Southern Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, some parts of Malawi, Somalia, Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Comorian, spoken in the Comoros Islands, is sometimes considered a dialect of Swahili, although other authorities consider it a distinct language.
The exact number of Swahili speakers, be they native or
second-language speakers, is unknown and a matter of debate. Various
estimates have been put forward, which vary widely, ranging from 100
million to 150 million. Swahili serves as a national language of the DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Shikomor, an official language in Comoros and also spoken in Mayotte (Shimaore), is related to Swahili. Swahili is also one of the working languages of the African Union and officially recognised as a lingua franca of the East African Community. In 2018, South Africa legalized the teaching of Swahili in South African schools as an optional subject to begin in 2020.
A significant fraction of Swahili vocabulary derives from Arabic, in part conveyed by Arabic-speaking Muslim inhabitants. For example, the Swahili word for "book" is kitabu, traceable back to the Arabic word كتاب kitāb (from the root K-T-B "write"). However, the Swahili plural form of this word ("books") is vitabu, rather than the Arabic plural form كتب kutub, following the Bantu grammar in which ki- is reanalysed as a nominal class prefix, whose plural is vi-.
KiSwahili is spoken by an estimated 80 million people in East and
Central Africa. It is the official language in Tanzania and Kenya, and
is also used in Uganda, Somalia, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi,
Zambia, and Congo (formerly Zaire). The vast majority of speakers of
KiSwahili are native speakers of other African languages and use
KiSwahili as a lingua franca. After Arabic, KiSwahili is the most widely
understood language in Africa.
BOFYA HAPA USOME KISWAHILI FORM 5