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Swahili interpreter and translation services

Bostico International provide professional Swahili translators, interpreters and translation services. Bostico International has over 10 years of experience and is surrounded by a wide network of professional Swahili translators who are ready to answer all your questions. We are able to make perfect translations that ensure a transition that preserves both the meaning and the culture of your original documents. Swahili (Kiswahili) is the language of the Swahili people of southern Somalia to northern Mozambique. Swahili is a lingua franca of much of East Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Translation is the act of interpreting the meaning of a text in a foreign language but it should also convey the culture and locality which is not always so easy.

Certified/notarised Swahili translators

We offer bespokelanguage solutions catering for both private individuals and businesses. Speak to a Bostico language and translation specialist today for your Swahili translation needs! Our team of qualified and experienced translators will take care of all your African language needs offering you the perfect balance of price and quality all under one roof as a one-stop translation/language solution.

Swahili translators and interpreters

Dialects of Swahili

Modern standard Swahili is based on Kiunguja, the dialect spoken in Zanzibar town. There are numerous other dialects of Swahili, some of which are mutually unintelligible, including the following.

  • Kiunguja: spoken in Zanzibar City and environs on Unguja (Zanzibar) Island. Other dialects occupy the bulk of the island.
  • Kitumbatu and Kimakunduchi: the countryside dialects of the island of Zanzibar. Kimakunduchi is a recent renaming of "Kihadimu"; the old name means "serf", hence it is considered pejorative.
  • Kimrima: spoken around Pangani, Vanga, Dar es Salaam, Rufiji and Mafia Island.
  • Kimgao: formerly spoken around Kilwa and to the south.
  • Kipemba: local dialect of the island of Pemba.
  • Kimvita: the major dialect of Mombasa (also known as "Mvita", which means "war", in reference to the many wars which were fought over it), the other major dialect alongside Kiunguja.
  • Kingare: subdialect of the Mombasa area.
  • Chijomvu: subdialect of the Mombasa area.
  • Chi-Chifundi: dialect of the southern Kenya coast.
  • Kivumba: dialect of the southern Kenya coast.
  • Kiamu: spoken in and around the island of Lamu (Amu).
  • Sheng: a sort of street slang, this is a blend of Swahili, English, and ethnic languages spoken in and around Nairobi in informal settings. Sheng originated in the Nairobi slums and is considered fashionable and cosmopolitan among a growing segment of the population.

Divergent dialects

  • Kimwani: spoken in the Kerimba Islands and northern coastal Mozambique.
  • Kingwana: spoken in the eastern and southern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sometimes called Copperbelt Swahili, especially the variety spoken in the south.
  • Comorian language (Shikomor), the language of the Comoros Islands, which form a chain between Tanzania and the northern tip of Madagascar. Often considered a separate language.
  • Chimwiini was traditionally spoken around the Somali town of Barawa. In recent years, most of its speakers have fled to Kenya to escape civil war. Whether Chimwiini is Swahili or a distinct language is a question that provokes division within each of the following groups: linguists specializing in Swahili, Chimwiini speakers, and speakers of other Swahili dialects.
  • Kizigua is traditionally spoken in the lower Juba province in Somalia near Kismayo city by the descendents of Bantus who were forced there by 19th century slavery.

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