KISWAHILI NOTES FOR ADVANCED LEVEL
(NOTES ZA KISWAHILI KIDATO CHA 5 NA 6 MADA ZOTE)
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NOTES ZA KISWAHILI KIDATO CHA 5 NA 6 MADA ZOTE
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Swahili (or Kiswahili) is a musical language and quite easy to learn, whose origins date back more than 1,000 years, and it is spoken along the eastern coast of Africa. It developed when African-Bantu and Arab-Persian elements came into contact, spreading progressively throughout the continent as a trade language along the routes travelled by caravans that departed from the ports of Zanzibar, Bagamoyo and Kilwa, heading into the heart of Africa in search of gold, ivory and slaves.
The name Swahili derives from the Arabic word “sahel”, which means “coast”, precisely because the language and culture produced were found in the early settlements established by Arab and Shirazi traders along the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Initially written in Arabic characters, when Christian missionaries arrived they transliterated it, introducing the use of the Latin alphabet. Over the centuries it has been enriched by Portuguese, German and, above all, English contributions.
Like all other languages of the Bantu family, it has a different logic to the European languages we are accustomed to using. There are no masculine, feminine or neutral genders, but 19 noun classes corresponding to 19 verb/pronoun classes, and 19 adjective classes. Unlike Western languages, Swahili does not change suffixes (the ends of words), but the prefixes (the beginnings of words).
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