The Comorian language, also known as Shikomori, is considered to be quite a rare language closely related to Swahili and spoken by about 700,000 people worldwide. Actually, the language is mainly used by the people who live in the Comoros Islands and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. Nevertheless, there are also some speakers in Madagascar and Reunion. As the language is closely related to Swahili, sometimes it is referred as Comores Swahili.
The Comorian language has a number of dialects, including Ngazidja (also known as Shingazidja), Maore (also known as Shimaore), Ndzwani (also known as Shindzwani) and Mwali (also known as Shimwali). The Ngazidja or Shingazidja dialect is spoken on Grande Comore, Maore or Shimaore is mainly spoken on Mayotte, Ndzwani or Shindzwani – on Anjouan and Mwali or Shimwali – on Moheli.
Historically, the written form of the Comorian language was based on the Arabic script. It is worth to mention that the Arabic script is still used today. Nevertheless, such letters as ح, ع and ق are only used in words borrowed from Arabic. After the colonization of Comoros by France that appeared in the 19th century, the Latin alphabet was introduced and modified. The modified version of the Latin script is still used today. Nevertheless, today we can say that traditional Latin and Arabic scripts are more popular.