Author Topic: Congo Swahili vs East African Swahili  (Read 8591 times)


  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 251
  • Location: Paris
Re: Congo Swahili vs East African Swahili
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2014, 10:26:58 pm »
My mistake I read Douglases thought you said you wrote it..  :o


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Congo Swahili vs East African Swahili
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2014, 12:43:52 pm »
There is nothing like Congo Kiswahili and East African Kiswahili.

There is Kiswahili: a language borne out of the interaction of Arabs and coastal Bantu speakers.  The administrative, cultural, political, economic center of the Swahili culture is Zanzibar (Unguja) and that is why Kiunguja is standard swahili.  It is a languange heavily influenced by Arabic and Islamic culture.  NOT FRENCH
As we go into the deeper into the mainland and further from Zanzibar, Kiswahili gets corrupted.  Congolese do not speak a dialect, they speak corrupted kiswahili so do Ugandans, Zambians and Mozambicans.  If we ask, where are the Waswahili, no one will point to any part but the coastal area of East Africa.

Tanzanians did an epic job of spreading Kiunguja throughout the Tanganyika and therefore Tanzanians in general speak better standard Kiswahili.

Yes there are dialects of Kiswahili but they are mostly centered at the coast the main ones are Kiamu(Lamu), Kimvita(Mombasa), Kimrima and Kipemba.  Most of these dialects do not replace words as someone said falanga for pesa or fedha; the difference is mainly in conjugating words and extraneous words.

mimi na wewe would be contracted as mie nawe and all Swahili speakers know these rules; these are not new words.

Kimvita would say an'toka while in standard Swahili its ametoka.

Kiswahili has also borrowed words from European languanges: Skuli/Shule (school/Schule) English/Gernan; Tangi - Tanque (Portuguese).  Bantu languages are well represented Mti for tree, mtu for person are almost the same across all Bantu languanges as would be maji for water.

If you speak Kiswahili, all Swahili speakers will understand you.  If they can understand tidbits, you are not speaking Kiswahili.  The Congolese would say "Bana ba Kenya", Swahili speakers will understand they mean "wana wa Kenya"  In Lingala "Nakokufa" would be "Nikikufa".

The great traditions, poetry and prose of Kiswahili are centered around the islands of Mombasa and Zanzibar; the great writers and hostorians of the language are likewise there.  It makes sense that Kiswahili belongs there. 
Kenyans, Americans, Jamaicans speak English...only the conceited ones will pretend they have a form of English or French or Portuguese.

 A picture of some of Tabu Ley's 104 children on: February 03, 2014, 10:44:44 am
"Hapa ni mapicha wa Batoto wa Tabu Ley

Batu wanasema Tabu Ley ilikuwa baba wa 100 batoto. Wengine sema 90 batoto. Tabu Ley mwenyewe anasema alipo baba wa 86 batoto na sawa kuwa katika Kinshasa. Lakini inasema kweli kwamba Tabu Ley alikuwa baba wa 104 batoto. Nasema Tabu Ley alipenda wanawake mingi kwa maisha yake. Tabu Ley alikuwa furaha kwa kila mwanamuke aliona. Batoto yake kwa pamoja kwa ajili nawe ."

While Swahili speakers will understand the gist of the cannot use ilikuwa or mingi with a person or people but most Congolese do and that is why it is not a dialect but a poor form of kiswahili.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 04:19:05 pm by Blkunity2 »


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Congo Swahili vs East African Swahili
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2014, 10:55:31 am »
Franco Pepe Kalle... asante for your explanation!
I am learning Kiswahili in an area where there are both Tanzanian speakers and Congolese speakers, and I was concerned about which dialect would be most useful to learn. Many people (non-native speakers) tell me Tanzanian is the "purest" form. I think they get that phrase from the popular text, __Simplified Swahili__. As a trained linguist, I reject the notion of the "purest" form of any language, but having a standardized grammar makes language learning easier.
Your breakdown gave me good insight into how to approach this language.