Native Speakers (Total): 100-150 million (L1 & L2)
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda. Also widely spoken in parts of Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Somalia, Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and South Sudan. Working language of the African Union.
Swahili is one of the most important and widespread languages in Eastern Africa (particularly the African Great Lakes region) and parts of Southern Africa, serving as a popular lingua franca in many areas. Swahili follows a subject-verb-object (SVO) word order and uses of inflection for person, tense, aspect, and mood. Swahili also has a complex system of noun classes, determined by their prefix, and which corresponds to the noun classing system of other Bantu languages. Swahili uses two kinds of adjectives: those that require a prefix and those that do not. Swahili verbs are formed by adding a prefix to the root verb stem. The prefixes are used to indicate subject, object, tense, aspect, mood, and other inflectional categories. These prefixes are always attached to the verb stem in a fixed order based on its linguistic function.
The “standard” form of Swahili is based on the dialect spoken in Zanzibar. Other dialect groups include Mombasa-Lamu, Pemba, and Comorian Swahili. Each of these dialect groups also contain numerous regional variations and sub-dialects, with some dialects being mutually unintelligible.
There are roughly 90,000 speakers of Swahili in the United States. The largest concentrations of Swahili speakers can be found in Texas, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Georgia, and Minnesota.
At Latitude Prime, we offer Swahili translation, Swahili interpretation, and Swahili localization services in numerous specialized subject areas and multiple dialects. Whether you need to translate a business agreement from English into Swahili, need a Swahili interpreter for a business meeting in Mombasa, or want to localize your website into Swahili to market your products or services in East Africa, Latitude Prime has the customized language solution to meet all of your Swahili language needs.