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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Constraining factors to the adoption of Kiswahili as a language of the law in Tanzania
Author:Rwezaura, B.ISNI
Periodical:Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere: Schriftenreihe des Kölner Instituts für Afrikanistik
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:legal education
language policy
Swahili language
Abstract:The arbitrary drawing of colonial boundaries in Africa during the late 19th century grouped together peoples of different cultures and languages. Tanzania, a former British trust territory, stands out as one of the few exceptions to this general rule. This is because Swahili is widely spoken in the country. Given this initial advantage, it would be instructive for this reason alone to see how Swahili has developed as a national language. This article argues that Tanzania did not fully exploit this language potential to make Swahili a medium of communication in all aspects of national life. It looks at the extent to which Swahili is used in the legal system and considers the contradictory developments regarding the use of Kiswahili as the language of the law: Swahili is used in the courts and in Parliament, but the language of legal education continues to be English. The article considers the various factors which constrain the adoption of Swahili as the language of legal education. The most obvious argument for adopting Swahili as the language of the law in Tanzania is that it has, in practice, become one. Bibliogr.