Local name: Kiswahili
Language family: Niger-Congo > Atlantic-Congo > Benue-Congo > Southern Bantoid > Bantu > Northeast Coast Bantu > Sabaki
Native speakers: ~ 15.5 million (Ethnologue.com, 2013)
Script: Latin alphabet
Official in: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda
Spoken mostly in: Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia

Swahili was originally spoken on the coast of what is now Tanzania, spreading to nearby islands and extended on the coastline. Clove trade was established with traders from Oman and Iran, and Swahili gained importance as a trade language, also in the African inland. Through trade contacts, Arabic words were also introduced – the name of the language itself is derived from sawāḥil, Arabic for ‘coastal dwellers’.

Swahili was further spread by colonial powers; both Germany and Great Britian further raised the status of Swahili by appointing it administrative and basic school language in much of their East African colonies. After indepence, especially Tanzania and Kenya have continued promoting Swahili and the variety spoken in Zanzibar is considered standard.

Kenyan Standard: Kaskazi Upepo na Jua
Speaker: Lathan Lila Yusuf Age at recording: 20 (2014) Geographical reference: Nairobi, KE (Google Map)

Kaskazini Upepo na jua wali kuwa wana shindana gani iko na nguvuu kushinda mwingine, msafiri aka kuja na alikuwa anavaa koti mzito.
Wali kubaliana mtu ya kwanza kutoa koti ya msafiri ndio akona nguvu kushinda ingine.
Upepo ya kaskazini ika jaribu kupiga upepo yake yote, lakini akaona vigumu yake inapiga, zaidi msafiri anafunga koti yake karibu naye, mpaka upepo ya kaskazini ikajishinda.
Jua ikaanza ku ngua, mpaka msafiri akatoa koti yake mara moja.
Sasa Upepo ya Kaskazini ika kubali jua ikona nguvu kuishinda.