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Swahili Translator

Swahili is one of the most spoken languages in Africa alongside Hausa. It’s also known as Kiswahili and has over 50 million speakers whereas Hausa only has 25 million. It is the official language of Kenya. Outside of Africa, Swahili is spoken in the United States too. Swahili has both Arab and colonial language influences making it an interesting language to both learn and study. It belongs to the Niger-Congo family of African languages and is just one of over 2,000 languages unique to the continent of Africa.



Arab Influences
Arabic has played a significant role in both influencing Swahili as well as helping to develop it. Arabic’s role in the language goes back to the interactions and influence Arabic traders had with people who lived on the eastern coast of Africa. As a result, Swahili eventually became the language spoken in that part of Africa. In fact, it became the standard language for Bantu tribes who spoke many other languages starting in the 19th century.
Moving Inland
Also around the 19th century, Swahili started to move inland from the eastern coast of Africa because Arab ivory traders and slave traders used it as the primary mode of communication. They went all the way to the Congo and north to Uganda, which helped spread the language.
A Common Language
During the colonization of Africa, Europeans decided to adopt Swahili and not force people to learn their languages. This was both true of the British and the Germans who encouraged its use in schools, the military, and government.