Comorian or ShiKomori is the language spoken in the Comoros archipelago. It belongs to the Bantu family of languages, which covers practically the entire southern half of the African continent, in countries such as Gabon, the two Congos, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. It is closely related to Swahili, with which it shares a large stock of common vocabulary and an Arab-Bantu civilization.

Discovering the language

The shiKomori comes in four dialect variants, each corresponding to one of the islands: shiNgazidja on Grande Comore, shiMwali on Mohéli (or Mwali), shiNdzuani on Anjouan (or Ndzuani) and shiMaore on Mayotte (or Maore). These variants fall into two groups according to their degree of affinity: the eastern group comprising shiMaore and shiNdzuani and the western group formed by shiMwali and shiNgazidja speakers. These two groups differ essentially on their phonemes (sounds) and on the verbal morphology (form) of the inaccompli (especially present and future). In addition, shiNgazidja differs from the other variants in its extensive use of amalgamation, vowel or syllable elision, epenthetization (appearance of a non-etymological consonant or syllable for purely prosodic purposes) and truncation (shortening of a word by deleting its last syllable).
Intercomprehension between speakers of these different varieties is not really a problem, provided everyone is willing to make a little effort, especially in the direction of shiNgazidja.

The courses

Comorian is offered as a compulsory in-depth course in the LLCER bachelor's degree, Afrique-Océan Indien course, Malagasy and as a free course in the LLCER bachelor's degree, Afrique-Océan Indien course, Swahili.