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Kiswahili: A Fast-spreading Lingua Franca

In his article "Kiswahili:  A Fast-spreading Lingua Franca" Prof. Godson S. Maanga shows linguistic peculiarities of the Kiswahili language and how it spread from Tanzania and Kenya to many regions of the world, including Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia as well as the islands of Comoros and Madagascar and more recently Ethiopia, South Sudan, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho. It has also spread to other countries in the world like America, Germany, UK as well as China and Japan. He informs about the role of Kiswahili as a very useful lingua franca and underlines the advantages of a common language. Maanga also shows how Kiswahili and local languages, as well as English, interact in Tanzania.

His conclusion: "Kiswahili has evolved over the centuries and is here to stay. It is a mighty tide and an irresistible tongue that spreads like fire in the harmattan wind. Today, Kiswahili has become undeniably an African language among world languages. Each of us can be proud of that. However, the quality of Kiswahili should not be compromised by its rapid growth or expansion. Let's keep the standard Swahili, because that's how future generations will have an enduring legacy from us, a legacy like no other."

Author: Prof. Godson S. Maanga 

Professor Godson S. Maanga is a pastor and versatile writer. His works include novels, short stories, poems, as well as non-fiction articles and books. He served the Church and community in various institutions and retired in June this year. However, believing that he is retired but not tired, he engages fully in research and writing.


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► click for pdf: Maanga_Kiswahili A Fastspreading Lingua Franca | Tanzania-Network.de (September 2022). The abridged version of this contribution was published in Habari-Magazine 03/2022 "language and language politics".