Swahili – Kiswahili

Although there are only 5 million native speakers, Swahili is the official language of Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and is spoken by more than 50 million people.

Until the 19th century, the Arabic alphabet was used in the written form, but when the country fell under the rule of Europe, the Latin alphabet replaced it. Therefore the Latin alphabet is more commonly used today. It is difficult to identify how many dialects are spoken because its speakers are spread out in many countries.

Modern Swahili was developed from the Kiunguja dialect which is spoken in the main city of Zanzibar in Tanzania.