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DAAS, in collaboration with the African Studies Center (ASC), offers language courses in Swahili (Kiswahili) and Yoruba. We are always very excited and proud to see how quickly our students learn these languages. If you are looking for a language that introduces you to a new culture, you have found the right place. We are here to help you achieve your goals and success. Yoruba and Swahili language courses fulfill LSA’s Language Requirement.

Heritage students or any student with prior skills in Yoruba or Swahili languages should contact the course instructor to discuss and determine the appropriate placement matching your level of proficiency.

Swahili (Kiswahili)

Swahili (also known as Kiswahili) is one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa. It is primarily used in eastern, central, and southern African nations, such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Comoro Islands, and others.


Yoruba is one of the three official languages of Nigeria. There are about 20 million speakers of the language in the Southwestern part of Nigeria. It has about twenty dialects, which show phonological and lexical differences. Some of these dialects are spoken around the border of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin and some parts of Togo.  

Extracurricular Opportunities

Study Abroad

University of Michigan offers an incredible number of study-abroad opportunities for our Yoruba students in Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. For more information, visit the Study Abroad website.  

Weekly Conversation Tables

Make sure to check our calendar for Language Tables each semester! Members of the public are welcome. Please check with Gabriel Ayoola ( for updates.

Career Opportunities for Speakers of African Languages

A few of the many career opportunities for students learning African language(s) include:

· Journalism

· International finance

· Foreign affairs

· Industry

· Contractual and corporate law

· Academia and cultural exchange

· US Department of State

· Embassy, Immigration, and Homeland Security

Student Projects

Final Project produced by Maggie Barnard, Madelynn Carter, and Olivier Bahizi for Emeritus Professor, Dr. Nyambura Mpesha's Swahili course.