Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Africa > Democratic Republic of the Congo > Swahili, Congo

Swahili, Congo

A language of Democratic Republic of the Congo

ISO 639-3swc

Population  1,000.
Region  Widespread in Katanga, Nord-Kivu, Sud-Kivu, and Maniema provinces; southeast Orientale Province.
Language map  Northern Democratic Republic of Congo
Alternate names   Zaïre Swahili
Dialects  Ituri Kingwana, Lualaba Kingwana, Katanga Swahili, Kivu Swahili. Kingwana is a pidgin Swahili which functions sociolinguistically as a dialect. There are several regional dialects, with that of the formerly Arabized areas being most similar to Swahili of Kenya and Tanzania. Lexical similarity: 30% with Lingala [lin] and with the Lega group, 15%–20% with Bira-Huku group, Bali [bcp], and Lika [lik].
Classification  Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Swahili (G.40)
A member of macrolanguage Swahili [swa] (Tanzania).
Language use  National language. 9,100,000 L2 speakers (1991 UBS).
Language development  Taught in primary schools. Bible: 1960–1997.
Writing system  Latin script.