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Monday, April 20, 2009

Swahili words used by Disney, Lionel Richie, and Star Trek

Swahili is spoken in the African countries of Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Swahili is also one of the official languages of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. About 35% of the Swahili vocabulary derives from the Arabic language.

Did you know…?

1.   Disney's animated film The Lion King contains several Swahili references. Simba, the main character's name, means lion, Rafiki means friend, Sarabi means mirage and Pumbaa means foolish.

 2.   Gene Roddenberry took the name of Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek from the Swahili word uhuru meaning freedom.

Lionel Richie

  3.   Do you remember Lionel Richie’s 1983 hit song 'All Night Long'? The line “We're going to, party Karamu, fiesta, forever, come on and sing along....Karamu means party in Swahili. 

4.   The game 'Jenga' is derived from the Swahili word kujenga, the Swahili verb to build.

5.   The DreamWorks Animation movie 'Madagascar 2', the hippo is named 'Moto Moto' which means 'Hot Hot' in Swahili.

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