About Tanzania

The name “Tanzania” was created as a clipped compound of the names of the two states that unified to create the country: Tanganyika and Zanzibar. It consists of the first three letters of the names of the two states (“Tan” and “Zan”) and the suffix, “ia” to form Tanzania.

The name “Tanganyika” is derived from the Swahili words tanga (“sail”) and nyika (“uninhabited plain”, “wilderness”), creating the phrase “sail in the wilderness”. It is sometimes understood as a reference to Lake Tanganyika.

The name of Zanzibar comes from “zenji”, the name for a local people (said to mean “black”), and the Arabic word “barr”, which means coast or shore.

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