Swahili: LangMedia Materials and Resources for Less-Commonly Taught Languages

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Online Audio for Kiswahili, msingi wa kusema kusoma na kuandika (Swahili, a foundation for speaking, reading, and writing)
by Thomas J. Hinnebusch and Sarah M. Mirza

Cover of Hinnebusch and Mirza textbook

This site contains digitized versions of the audio tapes that accompany the textbook Kiswahili, msinge wa kusema kusoma na kunandika (Swahili, a foundation for speaking, reading, and writing) by Professor Thomas J. Hinnebusch and Sarah M. Mirza. A workbook entitled Mazoezi Ya Kiswahili: Kitabu Cha Wanafunzi Wa Mwaka Wa Kwanza (Swahili Exercises: A Workbook for First-Year Students) by Lioba J. Moshi accompanies the introductory textbook chapter by chapter. Both the textbook and workbook are published by the University Press of America, Inc. They may be purchased online directly from the press or thorough numerous other vendors of academic books.

This online version of the tapes is copyrighted and provided here with permission of Professor Thomas J. Hinnebusch. Additional materials have been recorded by the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages (FCCSWL) and provided here with permission from Professor Hinnebusch. The material may be used only in accordance with "fair use" copyright guidelines for educational materials. Funding for digitizing the original audio, recording new materials, and making the materials available online was provided by a grant for expanding resources and course offerings in African languages from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the FCCSWL.

The audio material is organized by lesson number. The audio section for each part of the lesson begins with the material from the original tapes. The original tapes correspond most closely to the first edition of the textbook published in 1979. The original audio is supplemented with newly recorded materials which correspond to the second edition of the textbook published in 1998.

Some of the recorded materials include notations about the accent/geographic origin of the speakers. This attention to regional accents is part of a larger project of the FCCSWL to provide students of a language with exposure to a rich diversity of accents and dialects. Just as there are differences in accent among American, British, and Australian speakers of English, there are differences in accent between Tanzanian and Kenyan speakers of Swahili. In addition, just as there are differences in accent among various regions and ethnic groups in the U.S. or the U.K., there are also differences in accents among Swahili speakers within each country where the language is spoken. The accents of the speakers in the Swahili recordings can be categorized roughly as either from the coastal areas of Tanzania and Kenya (such as Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, or Mombasa) or from the city of Nairobi in Kenya.

Each audio segment is provided with three different playback options. MP3 files may be played with many different audio software programs including Winamp, QuickTime Player, Windows Media Player, and RealPlayer. The RealMedia link requires RealPlayer, the most recent version of which is called RealOne.