Do you think Swahili/Kiswahili should or can be the language of the African Continent? Why and how?

September 15, 2008 by  

African countries have many languages, but unfortunately the majority of Africans in the continent cannot communicate in their own languages. They use languages of their colonial masters, English, French, Portugese, Spanish, etc., etc. to communicate and ran their governments!!

Only few countries, such as Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda can communicate in Kiswahili, which belongs to no particular tribe.

African Union has recently adopted Kiswahili as one of its official languages and at their recent summit, it has been suggested and proposed that Swahili should be adopted as the language of the continent. Do you see this feasible?

I will admit that Kiswahili is relatively easy to learn and might make a good international language, but I don’t see the feasibility of forcing people throughout Africa to learn Swahili. You mentioned that only those in Uganda, Kenya & Tanzania speak Swahili, but that isn’t entirely true within these countries. Many of the Masa’i speak KiMasai and English, with very little Swahili. Also, older adults and young children in rural villages tend to speak the local tribal language better and more fluently than Kiswahili. People on the borders in the neighboring countries (like Malawi & Zambia) often speak Swahili better than some East African natives because it is the language of commerce across the border.

However, one must remember that many hoping to bring in tourist dollars are learning English, German, French, Dutch, Japanese, Hindi or Mandarin in order to speak with the tourists. I don’t believe it is very realistic to expect Africans to learn and share in Swahili when each language has it’s own background and reasons behind it’s use.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Comments

4 Responses to “Do you think Swahili/Kiswahili should or can be the language of the African Continent? Why and how?”

  1. izumi969 on January 30th, 2007 8:02 am

    Who cares?

    The whole world was pretty much conquered by Europe and it'll stay that way for a long time with European influences.

    Just the way the world works.
    References :

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. Richard E on January 30th, 2007 8:25 am

    Suppose we say that English should be the language of North America, because more people in North America are descended from English speakers than any other language.

    Even though a majority of people already speak English on this continent, forcing everyone to speak it would be an outrage and would not work and should not be tried, either.

    To force a Zulu or a Yoruba to learn Swahili would be just as silly as to force him to learn English or Afrikaans or Chinese. There are at least 600 languages or dialects spoken in Africa by more than 100,000 people.

    I see nothing wrong with adding Swahili as an acceptable language for the AU to do business in.

    But as for adopting any language as the official language of any continent, forget it.

    This would be just dumb, even on Antarctica.
    References :

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  3. Kwa Nini Hufahamu? on January 30th, 2007 8:39 pm

    I will admit that Kiswahili is relatively easy to learn and might make a good international language, but I don't see the feasibility of forcing people throughout Africa to learn Swahili. You mentioned that only those in Uganda, Kenya & Tanzania speak Swahili, but that isn't entirely true within these countries. Many of the Masa'i speak KiMasai and English, with very little Swahili. Also, older adults and young children in rural villages tend to speak the local tribal language better and more fluently than Kiswahili. People on the borders in the neighboring countries (like Malawi & Zambia) often speak Swahili better than some East African natives because it is the language of commerce across the border.

    However, one must remember that many hoping to bring in tourist dollars are learning English, German, French, Dutch, Japanese, Hindi or Mandarin in order to speak with the tourists. I don't believe it is very realistic to expect Africans to learn and share in Swahili when each language has it's own background and reasons behind it's use.
    References :

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. 313 on September 13th, 2011 7:27 am

    yes,swahili must be the lang of africa..in order africa to be united and avoid conflict must have one lang and this is swahili

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!