Kiswahili

Kiswahili and English are the Official languages, however the former is the national language. While Kiswahili is the medium of instructions at primary school level; English is medium at Higher educational levels.

Kiswahili, the national language, excites a listener in terms of the way some people from the different ethnic groups speak fast including some slang's while other members from other tribes speak slowly and carefully.

Many people treat language as one of the facts of life, like breathing, and it is true that social life as we know, it does not exist independently of language. In those countries that lack important linguistic minorities, language problems may assume importance only frequently, but in multilingual countries like Tanzania the situation is quite different. Here a number of factors have contributed to a situation in which the use of a particular language comes to be characteristic of a particular social domain, in much the same way that domains are characterized in England by varieties of English. In time the languages themselves take on the complex of emotions, prestige, etc. that are associated with the domains themselves. Thus, local languages like Kisukuma or Kigogo may be linked with the rural homestead or with traditional values; Swahili may be linked with town life or trade and English with government service, the professions and high status jobs. At a still later stage the languages acquire symbolic status and may then serve political ends. Thus, one may condemn the use of local languages as encouraging tribalism or praise them as expressing the true spirit of African-ness; One may condemn Swahili as divorced from local culture or praise it as transcending tribalism; one may condemn English as a colonialist language or praise it as making for the efficient operation of government services. One does not commonly find language as an overt symbol of political action. For many years it may lay dormant and be active along with or independently of other factors by issues of local or national importance apparently unconnected with language. Far more commonly one finds it functioning as one of a number of variables signaling socio-economic status in the community in various subtle and pervasive ways.

The Distribution of language of Education in Tanzania:
To a great extent, the Tanzanian government has been controlling language use through the educational system by passing edicts. One of such edicts is prescribing the medium of instruction to be used at each level of education. Kiswahili for primary and adult education while English is assigned for secondary and tertiary education. However, there are limits to the extant to which such policy can be implemented, since it is clear on the evidence of history, that if the choice of language runs counter to prevailing patterns of language use, then the language will only be used in those contexts where some degree of enforcement can be assured. This exercise has proved to be a difficult undertaking and one not likely to enhance the prestige of the language being enforced.

The Use of Language in a Community:
The use of language in a community, therefore, is likely to be surrounded with many and conflicting emotions, and to serve as an expression of tensions in social life for which no alternative outlet is available. It is thus, a matter of some importance to know what the patterns of language use are, in what ways they operate, and for what sections of the community they hold good, if only as a prerequisite to the formulation of any policy. It is also important that men and women should understand something of the role of language in society, so that irrational fears and beliefs may be reduced. Anyone who has worked on a local language committee knows how tenaciously people cling to unworkable, impracticable orthographies because they feel somehow that to temper with the spelling is to temper with the language. How much more materials in local languages would be available now, if agreement could have been reached on orthographic questions - though one is bound to add that to create the conditions for an event is to create the event itself. Finally, any educational system requires to be underpinned by continuing research into methods, content and objectives. If the system is dealing with two or more languages it is surely pointless to restrict one's research efforts to one of the languages and pernicious to assume that what goes for one will go for the other. The amount of work done Swahili and local languages in this field is negligible, and is itself an important contributory factor to current attitudes to these languages.