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Throughout this immense district any one really familiar with the Swahili language will gener- ally be able to find some one who can understand him, and serve as an interpreter ' (* Handbook of the Swahili Lan- guage,' Preface to First Edition).
Commander Cameron certainly found this true in his journey across Africa.
(3) The third point to notice, bearing on the future of the language, is that besides sharing with all other Bantu languages a wonderful fertility in developing gram- matical forms from a given root, and great delicacy as well as flexibility in the use of them, Swahili is pre-eminent in having the opportunity as well as the capacity to draw upon the inexhaustible stores of the Arabic vocabulary for the expression of new ideas, and in consisting of sounds which admit of easy and adequate representation by the common Roman alphabet, even Arabic words being promptly and effectually softened down in the act of appropriation by its unfailing euphonic instinct.
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The compiler has availed himself freely of such aids as the late Bishop Steere's vocabularies and writings, Krapfs 'Dictionary of the Swahili Language,' 1882, Pere Sacleux's * Dictionnaire Fran9ais-S wahili,' 1 89 1 , and various publications in Swahili issuing from the German Press, making such a selection of words as accorded with his general object and personal experience of the language during twenty-one years spent mainly in Zanzibar. SPOKEN IN ZANZIBAR The common language of Zanzibar is but one, and that.
He is quite aware that the selection is open to much criticism in detail, but advantage has been taken of this Second Edition to make some alterations and additions. a mixed one, of the dialects of the Swahili language, which is itself but one member of the vast group or family of languages now generally known as Bantu, of which Mr. 345): *This is, and is destined to continue, one of the twelve most important, languages of the world/ The grounds for such an estimate are briefly these : — (i) The Bantu languages occupy about one-third of the whole continent of Africa. Came- roons, on the Atlantic, due east to the Indian Ocean, and, with the exception of outliers of the Hamitic and Nubah-Fulah families on the east coast bending southward as far as the Equator, and the isolated Hottentot and Bushmen languages at the extreme south-west, the whole native population south of this line speaks Bantu — that is, a population of perhaps fifty millions^ spread over about three and a half millions of square miles. kuchukua \mtu isivyo halalt], kunyang'anya, unyanga- nyi. (of mind) wazimu, kicht My kupoteot (of stars, &c.) ntageuzi.