Kenyan English

The Kenyan English described here is a post-colonial second language variety spoken by Black Kenyans. It co-exists with minority native English varieties spoken by White and Asian Kenyans. It is surrounded by around forty indigenous languages, among which Swahili, representing the tribes of Kenya. But Swahili, unlike the others, has always enjoyed the constitutional status of the national language of Kenya and, from August 2010, that of official language besides English. While both Swahili and English serve as lingua francas, the latter is more widely spoken because it has always been the official medium of instruction from class 1 of primary school (except where indigenous languages are dominant) while Swahili is only taught as a subject. English enjoys high prestige among educated Kenyans, especially in Nairobi, where it is acquired as an L1 in a non-negligible number of wealthy families. Kenyan English is characterized by distinctive linguistic features used nationally and those, essentially phonological, used regionally and identifiable from accents influenced by local indigenous languages.

No. Feature Value