Kiswahili interpreters and translators
CIT offers Kiswahili interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.
Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Kiswahili language services including interpretation, translation and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Kiswahili language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Kiswahili language interpreters and translators possess in-depth knowledge of the Kiswahili language, as well as of the culture and history of the Kiswahili people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.
The Kiswahili Language
The Kiswahili language, also know as Swhahili, is a Bantu language that is spoken either as a first or second language in various countries in Africa spanning from the Lamu Island in Kenya to the southern border of Tanzania. The people that speak Swahili as their native and sole tongue are called the Waswahili. This refers to the language only and does not indicate any ethnic or tribal affiliation. There are several countries that use Swahili as their mother tongue. Tanzania uses Swahili as its language of administration and primary education. In Kenya, Swahili is used for the same purposes but only after the English language. In the Congo, it is also used as a language of administration among three other languages. Lastly, in Uganda, it is also used but the main language is English.
Arabic has largely influenced the language of Swahili. There are many Arabic loanwords in Swahili. In fact, the word Swahili means “of the coast” in Arabic. It is said that the Swahili language has been so influenced because of the contact between the Arab traders with those who lived on the eastern coast of the African continent for hundreds of years. With this Arab influence, Swahili became the mother tongue, or the lingua franca, and was used by tribes who used other Bantu languages. In the early 1800s, there was a great push for Swahili to become the language of those who live more inland and not just on the coast. Not long after, European colonialists began using Swahili, particularly the Germans, as they used it as the main language of the administration n Tanganyika. It, therefore, became the foundation for when it was adapted as the national language of Tanzania. During colonial times, other languages were encouraged to become official in Kenya and Uganda but not with much success. Swahili is now emphasized.
Kiswahili is believed to have literature that dates back as early as the 1700s. It was written in Arabic, even though modern Swahili is written in the Roman alphabet. In the Swahili language, there are 15 dialects. The main ones are Kiunguia, which is spoken in Zanzibar and in Tanzania. The next popular dialect is Kimvita, which was spoken in Mombara and other places in Kenya. Lastly, is the Kiamu dialect, which is spoken on an island, Lamu. The standard Swahili language is spoken using the Kiunguia dialect. Like other Bantu languages, Swahili has a similar grammar and a large vocabulary related to these languages. There are noun classes in the Swahili language as well such as singular and plural.
Interesting Facts about Swahili
- The famous quote “hakuna matata” from the film The Lion King is a quote in Swahili meaning “no worries.”
- Most people who speak Swahili are Muslim
- Swahili cuisine is known to use spices heavily
- The Swahili people love folklore
- It is standard to live in an intergenerational household