How Well Do You Know Swahili Vocabulary?

Answer 60 questions and find out how well you know your Swahili vocabulary.

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Why take our Swahili Vocabulary Quiz?

Swahili is a hugely popular language in Africa, spoken by over 50 million people. The initial spread of the language across Africa is owed to the traders from the Arab region who carried the language as far west as Congo and north to Uganda.

About the language

Swahili, also known as Kiswahili, is a language that belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger-Congo family. It was born along the East African coast and has significant influences from Bantu and Arabic languages, a reflection of historical trade interactions in the region.

Swahili is predominantly spoken in East Africa, with the largest concentration of speakers in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, it’s also spoken in countries like Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, and several others to a lesser degree.

The language boasts approximately 100 million speakers, encompassing both native and non-native speakers. Swahili serves as an official language in Tanzania and Kenya, and is also recognized by the African Union.

The language features several unique characteristics, such as a noun class system, which influences the form of related adjectives, verbs, and other parts of speech. It has also absorbed numerous loanwords from languages like Arabic, English, Portuguese, and German, yet maintains a largely phonetic spelling system, making it relatively easy for English speakers to learn. It serves as a lingua franca in East Africa, aiding communication between groups who do not share a first language.

Swahili also possesses a rich oral and written tradition, highlighting its cultural significance in the region.

Languages Related to Swahili

Below are a few languages that are related to Swahili in that they also belong to the Niger-Congo language family:

Igbo
Kinyarwanda
Luganda
Sesotho Southern
Shona
Tswana
Wolof
Xhosa
Yoruba
Zulu
Did you know?

Later, when the Germans colonized parts of Africa, they chose to use Swahili as the administrative language. The Tanganyika and the English standardized the language and helped create the Latin-based script it still uses today. Swahili, because of its scale and presence on the continent, is often the default language used by African-Americans to show their connection to their roots and the motherland. Swahili is the lingua franca throughout East Africa and is one of the most spoken languages in Africa.

How it works

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  1. Take the Quiz
    Select Swahili and start the quiz. No need to create an account or provide credit card details – it’s free!
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  1. Get your results After taking the quiz, you will receive your results by email. And for a small fee, get your own personal certificate!
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  1. Share your results Let your boss know, invite your friends, post on social media… Show off your skills, it’s okay to brag!