Swahili (or Kiswahili as it is called when one is speaking the language) is the most important and widely studied indigenous language of Africa, the National and official language of Kenya and Tanzania.
It is spoken as a native language on the East coast of Africa and the islands adjacent to the coast from Southern Somalia in the north down through the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts.
Whatever your area of research one is in, be it linguistics, anthropology, geography, archaeology, or even sociology, knowledge of Swahili and its many varieties is essential if one is working in the East African region.
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