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Thread: Swahili vs Kiswahili

 
  1. #1
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    Default Swahili vs Kiswahili

    Is there a difference between Swahili and Kiswahili? Or is it the same thing?

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    Default Re: Swahili vs Kiswahili

    "Swahili" refers to the people (the ethnic/cultural group), while "Kiswahili" is their language. Something like "Arab" and "Arabic." (Although it is super-common to refer to the language simply as "Swahili.")

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    Default Re: Swahili vs Kiswahili

    It's pretty confusing. Even ethnologue says that both can be used:
    https://www.ethnologue.com/language/swh
    https://iso639-3.sil.org/code/swh

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    Default Re: Swahili vs Kiswahili

    It is indeed. I am still trying to figure it out. I always receive Swahili projects, it can differ a lot from a region to another. Do you know if there is a Kiswahili or Swahili Standard (like Arabic)?

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    Default Re: Swahili vs Kiswahili

    Bonus fun fact about [Ki]Swahili: they have a different system of telling time, based on sunrise/sunset. As most Swahili speakers live very close to the equator, sunrise and sunset are fairly consistent year-round at about 6 AM and 6 PM (local time), respectively. In the Swahili system of marking time, 6 AM (sunrise) is the first hour: 1 o´clock. 7 AM would be 2 o´clock, and so on. This could come in very handy for localization.

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    Default Re: Swahili vs Kiswahili

    Interesting fact, Will. Time is very subjective.
    Categorizing Swahili seems complicated because it is a macrolanguage that includes other languages in its system.

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    Default Re: Swahili vs Kiswahili

    In most of the entries found on the Internet, it appears that Swahili and Kiswahili are the same.
    In fact, on the official site of the tourism agency of Tanzania they do not differentiate between one term or the other
    https://www.tanzaniatourism.go.tz/ta...ategory/people

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    Default Re: Swahili vs Kiswahili

    Thanks a lot. They're just synonyms in the end.

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    Default Re: Swahili vs Kiswahili

    Good to know that! ty

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    Default Re: Swahili vs Kiswahili

    Do you know if there is a lot of differences between let's say the Swahili spoken in Kenya, and Tanzania? Is there a "Modern Standard Swahili" similar to the Arabic, as a consequence for the number of dialects spoken in each country?

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