The history of the Swahili language is not as clear cut as other languages. Older views had it that Swahili came from Persians and Arabs who settled along the coast and opened up trade routes. However, because much of the language is associated with Bantu today it is only thought that the Persians and Arabs influenced the growth of the language. Truthfully no one knows where or how Swahili originated or even how old the language is, but it is believed to be as old as 1000 C.E.
While Swahili is largely spoken by the people of the East African coast it was also at one point spoken in South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Central Africa, and Western Africa. In addition, missionaries who learned Swahili while living in East Africa helped to spread it by writing the first Swahili to English language dictionary. Today, Swahili is largely spoken in East Africa and it is considered a national language in Tanzania, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and at one time in Uganda. Over 120 million people speak Swahili including immigrant populations in other countries in Europe and the United States.
Many people who choose to learn how to speak Swahili start by taking an online course through a podcast, or they try reading articles online. This can be an easy and fast way to begin learning the Swahili language. In addition, students should try as much as possible to immerse themselves in the Swahili culture.
Talking to friends and family who already speak the Swahili language, eating Swahili foods, or listening to Swahili music are all different ways of learning more about the culture and its people. Why not try hosting a Swahili party with food and music from Swahili taking center stage. If you need help finding Swahili recipes try looking online, there are many recipes that are exact replicas of food you will find within the Swahili culture. You could also ask your Swahili friend to bring over their favorite dishes and supply CDs of popular Swahili music. Not only will you have a lot of fun, but you may even influence some of your guests to learn Swahili too.
Learning to speak the Swahili language is one of the best ways you can choose to spend your time. Instead of watching endless TV or reading another boring magazine, you can have fun with your friends, learn about another culture and its history, and become multi-lingual at the same time.