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Explanation: "swahili" comes from Arabic; from sawahil "coasts" and is the adjective form meaning "of the coasts". So, literally, it means people of the coasts. This question was asked a few weeks ago and you can see the discussion here:
Swahili is the name of a non-Arabic language spoken in eastern Africa (the proper name is Kiswahili), especially in Kenya. Swahili contains many Arabic loanwords.
The term is reportedly derived from an Arabic adjective that refers to the plural forms of someone or something located along a coast.
For discussion and details about Swahili, you might visit the online version of "Ethnologue" on the website of SIL, International, at URL < www.sil.org > and navigate to Ethnologue. SIL, Int'l is the former Suummer Institute of Linguistics, the linguistic field research component of the Wycliffe Society.
Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California
shfranke United States Local time: 13:43 Works in field Native speaker of: English