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The Swahili language is spoken by millions of East and Central Africans in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, as well as in Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Comoro Islands, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Nothern Zambia. Swahili is the offical national language of Kenya and Tanzania and is one of the working langauges of the African Union. The nuber of Swahili speakers in Africa increases yearly because of its everyday use in media, commerce, education, and as a regional lingua franca. Swahili cultural heritage is intrisicaly connected to African Studies, Africana Studies, and the study of other cultures of African origin in other places in the world. So learning a widely-spoken African language, like Swahili, is issential to being an informed, globalized citizen.

Courses Offered

  • Swahili 1: SWAHIL 0101
  • Swahili 2: SWAHIL 0102
  • Swahili 3: SWAHIL 0103
  • Swahili 4: SWAHIL 0104
  • Swahili 5: SWAHIL 1901
  • Swahili 6: SWAHIL 1901


Why Study Swahili?

Use Swahili in other Pitt Courses

  • General Education Requirements
  • Global Studies Certificate
  • Lingustics Majors/Minors



Filipo Lubua,

Leonora Kivuva,

Swahili Outside the Classroom

Useful Links

Study Swahili in Tanzania!

Are you interested in Study Abroad? Check out the LCTL Study Abroad page to learn how to study Swahili in Tanzania!

Did You Know?

The English word 'Safari' is actually borrowed from Swahili

Did You Know?

Fan of the Lion King? Many key words from the movie are Swahili words. For example, Simba means Lion in Swahili!

Did You Know?

Fan of Star-Trek? Lieutenant Uhura's name means 'freedom' in Swahili

Did You Know?

Kiswahili is actually derived from the Arabic word meaning "language of costal dwelers"

Did You Know?

More people (about 20 times more) claim Swahili as their second language, not their first

Did You Know?

In Swahili, 1 o'clock am refers to the first hour after sunrise (7 am other places in the world)

Did You Know?

Michael Jackson's song 'Liberian Girl' lyrics aren't Liberian, they're Swahili.