Kiswahili (Swahili) is a major Bantu language spoken in East Africa. There are an estimated 50,000,000 speakers, which makes it the most widely spoken language on the African continent. Approximately 2,000,000 people use Swahili as a home language. Swahili is an official language of Tanzania, and is a national language in Kenya and Uganda. Swahili is also spoken in a number of other countries in the region, including the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, northern Mozambique and Somalia.
The Swahili language, is basically of Bantu (African) origin. It has borrowed words from other languages such as Arabic probably as a result of the Swahili people using the Quran written in Arabic for spiritual guidance as Muslims.
As regards the formation of the Swahili culture and language, some scholars attribute these phenomena to the intercourse of African and Asiatic people on the coast of East Africa. The word “Swahili” was used by early Arab visitors to the coast and it means “the coast”. Ultimately it came to be applied to the people and the language.