A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Asian Swahili

45,000 (Maho and Sands 2002). Approximately 45,000 in Tanzania in the early 1970s (Maho and Sands 2002).


Scattered in Pwani, Dodoma, Manyara, and Arusha regions.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


None known. May be intelligible with standard Kiswahili [swh]. Cutchi-Swahili and Asian Swahili may not be the same.

Language Use

L1 of some Gujarati Muslims who came from Zanzibar. Asian Swahili is used by other Asians to communicate with non-English speaking Africans and other Asians who share no common language. All ages. Also use English [eng].

Other Comments

Regular but distinct phonology, lexical and grammatical differences (Whiteley 1974:73–79). Muslim (Ismaili), Muslim (Ithnasheri).