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It is, however, a native or 'first' lan- guage only in a nnitp restricted area consisting of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba and the oppo- site coast, roughly from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa, Outside this relatively small territory, elsewhere in Kenya, in Tanzania (formerly Tanganyika), and to a lesser degree in Uganda, in the Republic of the Congo, and in other fringe regions hard to delimit, Swahili is a lingua franca of long standing, a 'second' (or 'third' or 'fourth') language enjoy- ing a reasonably well accepted status as a supra-tribal or supra-regional medium of communication.
Its chief competitor in this function is English, and English is of course a formidable competi- tor indeed in Kenya and Tanzania and particularly in Uganda.
20017 a Prei 1967 INTRODUCTION Copyright © 1968 THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA PRESS, INC.
The Swahili language (Kisuiahili) is a Bantu language spoken by perhaps as many as forty mil- lion people throughout a large part of East and Central Africa.
Like all subsequent compilations, it builds gratefully upon the Standard Swahili-English and English-Swahili Dictionary in two volumes, prepared under the direction of Frederick Johnson and published by the Oxford University Press in 1939. The competitors are both English and Luganda in Uganda, both French and Lingala in the Congo. In the long view, the future of Swahili is difficult to predict; but, for the present, its position appears to be more stable than that of any other African language. if the entry is commonly used only in the singular or in the plural.
The indication (—) after an entry means that the entry is a noun having in the plural the same form as in the singular.
The older literature of the language, written in Arabic characters, goes back to the seventeenth century and includes a wide range of subject matter and forms, from poetry to chronicles and history. acha, dial, ata leave (behind), desert, labedari* LPort. ] (-) pulley, block abandon; divorce (wife, husband).