Its old name was Kingozi, but as traders came from Arabic, Persian, and Indian countries, their vocabulary intermingled with the language. It was originally written in Arabic script.
Swahili, also known as Kiswahili (translation: coast language), is a Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. Speakers vary widely, from 50 million to over 100 million.
The earliest known documents written in Swahili are letters written in Kilwa in 1711 in the Arabic script that were sent to the Portuguese of Mozambique(South-eastern) and their local allies.
Swahili has become a second language spoken by tens of millions in three African Great Lakes countries (Tanzania, Kenya, and the DRC) where it is an official or national language.