About Swahili Language
Swahili is spoken as a native language on the East Coast of Africa and the islands bordering the coast of Southern Somalia in the North through the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts. Knowing Swahili has many benefits, including the fact that it serves as a good means of accessing the Swahili culture. Swahili has a long-written tradition and remarkable history. Many Swahili speakers like to refer to themselves to where they come from. Thus, for example, Swahili speakers from Unguja will refer themselves as Waunguja or Wazanzibari, those from Kenya as Wakenya and those from Tanzania as Watanzania.
The East African coast was already visited by Arabs and Persians in the second century AD. These visitors settled in at the coastal part of East Africa and intermarried with the locals hence birthing the Swahili language.
Swahili is a Bantu language and has a complicated Bantu language structure. For example, Swahili uses more than 10 independent name classes, the equivalence of a Romance language with 10 genera. Three fully independent classes are devoted to different aspects of space and time. Swahili represents a quite different view of the African world from that of a European language.
Lamu is an ancient Swahili city state in the Indian Ocean off the north coast of Kenya. It is the most important city of the traditional Swahili – the original melting pot of Swahili culture. In December 2001, UNESCO granted World Heritage status to Lamu’s old town, referring to the fact that the old town had retained its traditional functions for more than 1,000 years.