Question: How Old Is Swahili?

When was Swahili created?

1711It was originally written in Arabic script.

The earliest known documents written in Swahili are letters written in Kilwa in 1711 in the Arabic script that were sent to the Portuguese of Mozambique and their local allies.

The original letters are preserved in the Historical Archives of Goa, India..

Is Swahili similar to Arabic?

Swahili is definitely an African language. It’s not a Middle Eastern language, nor a Semitic language like Hebrew. The structure of Swahili is Bantu, and the lion’s share of the words are of Bantu origin. … But it’s blindingly obvious that Arabic had a great influence on Swahili.

What country speaks Swahili?

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. Its use is spreading to southern, western and northern Africa.

How difficult is Swahili?

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.

What is the most spoken language in Africa?

EnglishEnglish is the most widely spoken language across the African continent, followed by French, Portuguese, and even Spanish. English is not only the official language of many countries in Africa; it’s also the principal language of education in many others, and a lingua franca otherwise.

What is Swahili a mix of?

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.

What nationality is Swahili?

The Swahili people (or 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, and northern Mozambique.

How do you say hi in Swahili?

There are basically five ways to say hello in Swahili:Hujambo or jambo (how are you?) – Sijambo (seeJAmbo) (I am fine / no worries)Habari? (any news?) – nzuri (nZOOree) (fine)U hali gani? (oo HAlee GAnee) (how are you) – njema (fine)Shikamoo (a young person to an elder) – marahaba.For casual interactions: mambo?

Is Swahili similar to Zulu?

If your destination is Zimbabwe or South Africa, take into account that Zulu is the most widely spoken and understood language. If you’re traveling to East Africa, familiarize yourself with Swahili, a language that’s a blend of Arabic and Bantu.

Is Swahili a dead language?

If you’re like a lot of people, you might even think Swahili is either a dead language, no longer spoken, or a generic term for African languages. But it’s a distinct, beautiful language all its own – although it is becoming a “lingua franca” for Africa in the modern age.

What is Swahili religion?

Today, most Swahili people are Sunni Muslims. It is the largest group within the religion of Islam. The Busy Medieval Times. The Swahili Coast peaked during the medieval period.

What does Bantu mean?

Abantu[2] Abantu (or ‘Bantu’ as it was used by colonists) is the Zulu word for people. It is the plural of the word ‘umuntu’, meaning ‘person’, and is based on the stem ‘–ntu’ plus the plural prefix ‘aba’. This original meaning changed through the history of South Africa.