Habari? Nzuri. Hakuna Matata! Congratulations on your interest in studying Swahili! Knowing Swahili, spoken by the seventh largest group of people in the world, allows you to communicate with over 100
million people in the African continent and abroad. Swahili is a Bantu language spoken mainly in the East African countries
of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. It is also spoken in other south Africa countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC), and many others. Studying Swahili will also fulfill your foreign language requirements at USF.
Speakers of Swahili draw from a very rich culture with distinct
types of food, music, and dress. Swahili is one of the most widely spoken
languages in Africa, and one of the languages of the African Union. The Swahili language is readily being spoken in many parts of the
world. Swahili is featured in several world radio stations such as BBC Radio
(British Broadcasting Corporation), VOA Radio, (Voices of America), Cairo
Radio, Deutchwelle Radio, Moscow International Radio, and radio broadcasts in
Japan and Sudan. Swahili language is also making its presence in the art world in
songs, theater, film and television.
The lyrics for the song "Liberian Girl" by Michael
Jackson include the Swahili phrase: "Nakupenda pia,nakutaka pia we! mpenzi
wangu. (I love you, I want you my dear). Another famous song featuring Swahili is “Malaika nakupenda
Malaika" (Angel, I Love You, Angel). Various artists including Boney M,
Miriam Makeba, and Harry Belafonte have sung this song. The celebrated Disney film The Lion King features
several Swahili words. For example "Simba" (lion), "Rafiki"
(friend), and the famous phrase "Hakuna Matata" (no problems, or no
worries). Thus, Swahili is rapidly becoming a global language taught in many
parts of the world.