A rough overview of language families spoken in Africa:
  Nilo-Saharan (possibly a family)
  Niger–Congo (some areas may not belong)
  Khoisan (not a family)

The number of languages natively spoken in Africa is variously estimated (depending on the delineation of language vs. dialect) at between 1,250 and 2,100,[1] and by some counts at over 3,000.[2] Nigeria alone has over 500 languages (according to SIL Ethnologue),[3] one of the greatest concentrations of linguistic diversity in the world. The languages of Africa belong to many distinct language families, among which the largest are:

There are several other small families and language isolates, as well as creoles and languages that have yet to be classified. In addition, Africa has a wide variety of sign languages, many of which are language isolates.

Around a hundred languages are widely used for interethnic communication. These include Arabic, Somali, Amharic, Oromo, Igbo, Swahili, Hausa, Manding, Fulani and Yoruba, which are spoken as a second (or non-first) language by millions of people. Although many African languages are used on the radio, in newspapers and in primary-school education, and some of the larger ones are considered national languages, only a few are official at the national level. In Sub-Saharan Africa, most official languages at the national level tend to be colonial languages such as French, Portuguese, or English.[4][5][6]

The African Union declared 2006 the "Year of African Languages".[7]

Language groups

Clickable map showing the traditional language families, subfamilies and major languages spoken in Africa

Most languages natively spoken in Africa belong to one of the two large language families that dominate the continent: Afroasiatic, or Niger–Congo. Another hundred belong to smaller families such as Ubangian, Nilotic, Saharan, and the various families previously grouped under the umbrella term Khoisan. In addition, the languages of Africa include several unclassified languages and sign languages.

The earliest Afroasiatic languages are associated with the Capsian culture, the Saharan languages are linked with the Khartoum Mesolithic/Neolithic cultures. Niger-Congo languages are correlated with the west and central African hoe-based farming traditions and the Khoisan languages are matched with the south and southeastern Wilton industries.[8]

Afroasiatic languages

Main article: Afroasiatic languages

Afroasiatic languages are spoken throughout North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia and parts of the Sahel. There are approximately 375 Afroasiatic languages spoken by over 400 million people. The main subfamilies of Afroasiatic are Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, Omotic, Egyptian and Semitic. The Afroasiatic Urheimat is uncertain. The family's most extensive branch, the Semitic languages (including Arabic, Amharic and Hebrew among others), is the only branch of Afroasiatic that is spoken outside Africa.[9]

Some of the most widely spoken Afroasiatic languages include Arabic (a Semitic language, and a recent arrival from West Asia), Somali (Cushitic), Berber (Berber), Hausa (Chadic), Amharic (Semitic) and Oromo (Cushitic). Of the world's surviving language families, Afroasiatic has the longest written history, as both the Akkadian language of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egyptian are members.

Nilo-Saharan languages

Main article: Nilo-Saharan languages

Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed grouping of some one hundred diverse languages. Genealogical linkage between these languages has failed to be conclusively demonstrated, and support for the proposal is sparse among linguists.[10][11] The languages share some unusual morphology, but if they are related, most of the branches must have undergone major restructuring since diverging from their common ancestor.

This hypothetical family would reach an expanse that stretches from the Nile Valley to northern Tanzania and into Nigeria and DR Congo, with the Songhay languages along the middle reaches of the Niger River as a geographic outlier. The inclusion of the Songhay languages is questionable, and doubts have been raised over the Koman, Gumuz and Kadu branches.

Some of the better known Nilo-Saharan languages are Kanuri, Fur, Songhay, Nobiin and the widespread Nilotic family, which includes the Luo, Dinka and Maasai. Most Nilo-Saharan languages are tonal, as are Niger-Congo languages.[citation needed]

Niger–Congo languages

Main article: Niger–Congo languages

Map showing the traditional language families represented in Africa:
  Afroasiatic (Semitic-Hamitic)
  Austronesian (Malay-Polynesian)
  Central and Eastern Sudanese
  Central Bantoid
  Eastern Bantoid
  Western Bantoid

The Niger–Congo languages constitute the largest language family spoken in West Africa and perhaps the world in terms of the number of languages. One of its salient features is an elaborate noun class system with grammatical concord. A large majority of languages of this family are tonal such as Yoruba and Igbo, Akan and Ewe language. A major branch of Niger–Congo languages is the Bantu phylum, which has a wider speech area than the rest of the family (see Niger–Congo B (Bantu) in the map above).

The Niger–Kordofanian language family, joining Niger–Congo with the Kordofanian languages of south-central Sudan, was proposed in the 1950s by Joseph Greenberg. Today, linguists often use "Niger–Congo" to refer to this entire family, including Kordofanian as a subfamily. One reason for this is that it is not clear whether Kordofanian was the first branch to diverge from rest of Niger–Congo. Mande has been claimed to be equally or more divergent. Niger–Congo is generally accepted by linguists, though a few question the inclusion of Mande and Dogon, and there is no conclusive evidence for the inclusion of Ubangian.

Other language families

Several languages spoken in Africa belong to language families concentrated or originating outside the African continent.


Malagasy belongs to the Austronesian languages and is the westernmost branch of the family. It is the national and co-official language of Madagascar, and a Malagasy dialect called Bushi is also spoken in Mayotte.

The ancestors of the Malagasy people migrated to Madagascar around 1,500 years ago from Southeast Asia, more specifically the island of Borneo. The origins of how they arrived to Madagascar remains a mystery, however the Austronesians are known for their seafaring culture. Despite the geographical isolation, Malagasy still has strong resemblance to Barito languages especially the Ma'anyan language of southern Borneo.

With more than 20 million speakers, Malagasy is one of the most widely spoken of the Austronesian languages.


Afrikaans is Indo-European, as is most of the vocabulary of most African creole languages. Afrikaans evolved from the Dutch vernacular[12][13] of South Holland (Hollandic dialect)[14][15] spoken by the mainly Dutch settlers of what is now South Africa, where it gradually began to develop distinguishing characteristics in the course of the 18th century, including the loss of verbal conjugation (save for 5 modal verbs), as well as grammatical case and gender.[16] Most Afrikaans speakers live in South Africa. In Namibia it is the lingua franca. Overall 15 to 20 million people are estimated to speak Afrikaans.

Since the colonial era, Indo-European languages such as Afrikaans, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish have held official status in many countries, and are widely spoken, generally as lingua francas. (See African French and African Portuguese.) Additionally, languages like French, and Portuguese have become native languages in various countries.

French has become native in the urban areas of the DRC[17], and Gabon[18] .

German was once used in Germany's colonies there from the late 1800s until World War I, when Britain and France took over and revoked German's official status. Despite this, German is still spoken in Namibia, mostly among the white population. Although it lost its official status in the 1990s, it has been redesignated as a national language. Indian languages such as Gujarati are spoken by South Asian expatriates exclusively. In earlier historical times, other Indo-European languages could be found in various parts of the continent, such as Old Persian and Greek in Egypt, Latin and Vandalic in North Africa and Modern Persian in the Horn of Africa.

Small families

The three small Khoisan families of southern Africa have not been shown to be closely related to any other major language family. In addition, there are various other families that have not been demonstrated to belong to one of these families. The classifications below follow Glottolog.

Khoisan is a term of convenience covering some 30 languages spoken by around 300,000–400,000 people. There are five Khoisan families that have not been shown to be related to each other: Khoe, Tuu and Kx'a, which are found mainly in Namibia and Botswana, as well as Sandawe and Hadza of Tanzania, which are language isolates. A striking feature of Khoisan languages, and the reason they are often grouped together, is their use of click consonants. Some neighbouring Bantu languages (notably Xhosa and Zulu) have clicks as well, but these were adopted from Khoisan languages. The Khoisan languages are also tonal.

Creole languages

Due partly to its multilingualism and its colonial past, a substantial proportion of the world's creole languages are to be found in Africa. Some are based on Indo-European languages (e.g. Krio from English in Sierra Leone and the very similar Pidgin in Nigeria, Ghana and parts of Cameroon; Cape Verdean Creole in Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau Creole in Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, all from Portuguese; Seychellois Creole in the Seychelles and Mauritian Creole in Mauritius, both from French); some are based on Arabic (e.g. Juba Arabic in the southern Sudan, or Nubi in parts of Uganda and Kenya); some are based on local languages (e.g. Sango, the main language of the Central African Republic); while in Cameroon a creole based on French, English and local African languages known as Camfranglais has started to become popular.

Unclassified languages

Further information: Category:Unclassified languages of Africa

A fair number of unclassified languages are reported in Africa. Many remain unclassified simply for lack of data; among the better-investigated ones that continue to resist easy classification are:

Of these, Jalaa is perhaps the most likely to be an isolate.

Less-well investigated languages include Irimba, Luo, Mawa, Rer Bare (possibly Bantu), Bete (evidently Jukunoid), Bung (unclear), Kujarge (evidently Chadic), Lufu (Jukunoid), Meroitic (possibly Afroasiatic), Oropom (possibly spurious) and Weyto (evidently Cushitic). Several of these are extinct, and adequate comparative data is thus unlikely to be forthcoming. Hombert & Philippson (2009)[19] list a number of African languages that have been classified as language isolates at one point or another. Many of these are simply unclassified, but Hombert & Philippson believe Africa has about twenty language families, including isolates. Beside the possibilities listed above, there are:

Roger Blench notes a couple additional possibilities:

Below is a list of language isolates and otherwise unclassified languages in Africa, from Vossen & Dimmendaal (2020:434):[20]

Language Country
Bangi Me Mali
Bayot Senegal
Dompo Ghana
Ega Ivory Coast
Gomba Ethiopia
Gumuz Ethiopia, Sudan
Hadza Tanzania
Irimba Gabon
Jalaa Nigeria
Kujarge Chad
Laal Chad
Lufu Nigeria
Luo Cameroon
Mawa Nigeria
Meyobe Benin, Togo
Mimi of Decorse; Mimi of Nachtigal Chad
Mpra Ghana
Oblo Cameroon
Ongota Ethiopia
Oropom Kenya, Uganda
Rer Bare Ethiopia
Shabo Ethiopia
Weyto Ethiopia
Wutana Nigeria
Yeni Cameroon

Sign languages

See also: List of sign languages § Africa

Many African countries have national sign languages, such as Algerian Sign Language, Tunisian Sign Language, Ethiopian Sign Language. Other sign languages are restricted to small areas or single villages, such as Adamorobe Sign Language in Ghana. Tanzania has seven, one for each of its schools for the Deaf, all of which are discouraged. Not much is known, since little has been published on these languages

Sign language systems extant in Africa include the Paget Gorman Sign System used in Namibia and Angola, the Sudanese Sign languages used in Sudan and South Sudan, the Arab Sign languages used across the Arab Mideast, the Francosign languages used in Francophone Africa and other areas such as Ghana and Tunisia, and the Tanzanian Sign languages used in Tanzania.

Language in Africa

Throughout the long multilingual history of the African continent, African languages have been subject to phenomena like language contact, language expansion, language shift and language death. A case in point is the Bantu expansion, in which Bantu-speaking peoples expanded over most of Sub-Equatorial Africa, intermingling with Khoi-San speaking peoples from much of Southeast Africa and Southern Africa and other peoples from Central Africa. Another example is the Arab expansion in the 7th century, which led to the extension of Arabic from its homeland in Asia, into much of North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

Trade languages are another age-old phenomenon in the African linguistic landscape. Cultural and linguistic innovations spread along trade routes and languages of peoples dominant in trade developed into languages of wider communication (lingua franca). Of particular importance in this respect are Berber (North and West Africa), Jula (western West Africa), Fulfulde (West Africa), Hausa (West Africa), Lingala (Congo), Swahili (Southeast Africa), Somali (Horn of Africa) and Arabic (North Africa and Horn of Africa).

After gaining independence, many African countries, in the search for national unity, selected one language, generally the former Indo-European colonial language, to be used in government and education. However, in recent years, African countries have become increasingly supportive of maintaining linguistic diversity. Language policies that are being developed nowadays are mostly aimed at multilingualism. This presents a methodological complication when collecting data in Africa and limited literature exists. An analysis of Afrobarometer public opinion survey data of 36 countries suggested that survey interviewers and respondents could engage in various linguistic behaviors, such as code-switching during the survey.[21] Moreover, some African countries have been considering removing their official former Indo-European colonial languages, like Mali and Burkina Faso which removed French as an official language in 2024.[22][23]

Official languages

See also: Languages of the African Union

Official languages in Africa:
  other languages
Ngbandi creole
French Creole
Language Family Official status per country
Afrikaans Indo-European South Africa
Amharic Afroasiatic Ethiopia
Arabic Afroasiatic Algeria, Comoros, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan,
Berber Afroasiatic Algeria, Morocco, Libya
Chewa Niger-Congo Malawi, Zimbabwe
Comorian Niger-Congo Comoros
Kikongo Niger-Congo Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo
Kinyarwanda Niger-Congo Rwanda
Kirundi Niger-Congo Burundi
Malagasy Austronesian Madagascar
Ndebele Niger-Congo South Africa
Oromo Afroasiatic Ethiopia[32][33][34]
Sango French Creole Central African Republic
Sepedi Niger-Congo South Africa
Sesotho Niger-Congo Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Setswana Niger-Congo Botswana, South Africa
Seychelles Creole French Creole Seychelles
Shona Niger-Congo Zimbabwe
Sindebele Niger-Congo Zimbabwe
Somali Afroasiatic Somalia, Djibouti,

Ethiopia, Kenya

Swahili Niger-Congo Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda
Swati Niger-Congo Eswatini, South Africa
Tigrinya Afroasiatic Ethiopia, Eritrea
Tsonga Niger-Congo South Africa
Venda Niger-Congo South Africa
Xhosa Niger-Congo South Africa
Zulu Niger-Congo South Africa

Cross-border languages

The colonial borders established by European powers following the Berlin Conference in 1884–1885 divided a great many ethnic groups and African language speaking communities. This can cause divergence of a language on either side of a border (especially when the official languages are different), for example, in orthographic standards. Some notable cross-border languages include Berber (which stretches across much of North Africa and some parts of West Africa), Kikongo (that stretches across northern Angola, western and coastal Democratic Republic of the Congo, and western and coastal Republic of the Congo), Somali (stretches across most of the Horn of Africa), Swahili (spoken in the African Great Lakes region), Fula (in the Sahel and West Africa) and Luo (in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan and Sudan).

Some prominent Africans such as former Malian president and former Chairman of the African Commission, Alpha Oumar Konaré, have referred to cross-border languages as a factor that can promote African unity.[35]

Language change and planning

Language is not static in Africa any more than on other continents.[citation needed] In addition to the (likely modest) impact of borders, there are also cases of dialect levelling (such as in Igbo and probably many others), koinés (such as N'Ko and possibly Runyakitara) and emergence of new dialects (such as Sheng). In some countries, there are official efforts to develop standardized language versions.

There are also many less widely spoken languages that may be considered endangered languages.


Further information: Demographics of Africa

Of the 1 billion Africans (in 2009), about 17 percent speak an Arabic dialect.[citation needed] About 10 percent speak Swahili,[citation needed] the lingua franca of Southeast Africa; about 5 percent speak a Berber dialect;[citation needed] and about 5 percent speak Hausa, which serves as a lingua franca in much of the Sahel. Other large West African languages are Yoruba, Igbo, Akan and Fula. Major Horn of Africa languages are Somali, Amharic and Oromo. Lingala is important in Central Africa. Important South African languages are Sotho, Tswana, Pedi, Venda, Tsonga, Swazi, Southern Ndebele, Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans.[36]

French, English, and Portuguese are important languages in Africa due to colonialism. About 320 million,[37][38] 240 million and 35 million Africans, respectively, speak them as either native or secondary languages. Portuguese has become the national language of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe, and Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique. The economies of Angola and Mozambique are quickly becoming economic powerhouses in Africa.[39]

Linguistic features

Some linguistic features are particularly common among languages spoken in Africa, whereas others are less common. Such shared traits probably are not due to a common origin of all African languages. Instead, some may be due to language contact (resulting in borrowing) and specific idioms and phrases may be due to a similar cultural background.


Some widespread phonetic features include:

Sounds that are relatively uncommon in African languages include uvular consonants, diphthongs and front rounded vowels

Tonal languages are found throughout the world but are especially common in Africa - in fact, there are far more tonal than non-tonal languages in Africa. Both the Nilo-Saharan and the Khoi-San phyla are fully tonal. The large majority of the Niger–Congo languages are also tonal. Tonal languages are also found in the Omotic, Chadic and South & East Cushitic branches of Afroasiatic. The most common type of tonal system opposes two tone levels, High (H) and Low (L). Contour tones do occur, and can often be analysed as two or more tones in succession on a single syllable. Tone melodies play an important role, meaning that it is often possible to state significant generalizations by separating tone sequences ("melodies") from the segments that bear them. Tonal sandhi processes like tone spread, tone shift, downstep and downdrift are common in African languages.


Widespread syntactical structures include the common use of adjectival verbs and the expression of comparison by means of a verb 'to surpass'. The Niger–Congo languages have large numbers of genders (noun classes) which cause agreement in verbs and other words. Case, tense and other categories may be distinguished only by tone. Auxiliary verbs are also widespread among African languages; the fusing of subject markers and TAM/polarity auxiliaries into what are known as tense pronouns are more common in auxiliary verb constructions in African languages than in most other parts of the world.[40]


Quite often, only one term is used for both animal and meat; the word nama or nyama for animal/meat is particularly widespread in otherwise widely divergent African languages.[citation needed]


The following is a table displaying the number of speakers of given languages within Africa:

Language Family Native speakers (L1) Official status per country
Abron Niger–Congo 1,393,000[41] Ghana
Afar Afroasiatic 2,500,000 Spoken in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia
Afrikaans Indo-European 7,200,000[42] National language in Namibia, co-official in South Africa
Akan Niger–Congo 11,000,000[43] None. Government sponsored language of Ghana
Amharic Afroasiatic 32,400,000[44] Ethiopia
Arabic Afroasiatic 150,000,000[45] but with separate mutually unintelligible varieties Algeria, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania (Zanzibar), Tunisia
Berber Afroasiatic 16,000,000[46] (estimated) (including separate mutually unintelligible varieties) Morocco, Algeria
Bhojpuri Indo-European 65,300[47] Spoken in Mauritius
Cape Verdean Creole Portuguese Creole 871,000 National language in Cape Verde
Chewa Niger–Congo 9,700,000[48] Malawi, Zimbabwe
Comorian Niger–Congo 1,100,000 Comoros
Dangme Niger–Congo 1,020,000[49] Ghana
English Indo-European 6,500,000[50] (estimated) See List of countries and territories where English is an official language
Fon Niger–Congo 2,300,000 Benin
French Indo-European 1,200,000[51] (estimated) See List of territorial entities where French is an official language and African French
Fulani Niger–Congo 25,000,000[43] National language of Senegal
Ga Niger–Congo 745,000 Ghana
German Indo-European National language of Namibia, special status in South Africa
Gikuyu Niger–Congo 8,100,000[52] Spoken in Kenya
Hausa Afroasiatic 48,637,300[53] Recognized in Nigeria, Ghana, Niger
Hindi Indo-European Spoken in Mauritius
Igbo Niger–Congo 27,000,000[54] Native in Nigeria
Italian Indo-European Recognized in Eritrea and Somalia
Kalenjin Nilo-Saharan 6,600,000 Spoken in Kenya and Uganda
Khoekhoe Khoe 200,000[55] National language of Namibia
Kimbundu Niger–Congo 1,700,000 Angola
Kinyarwanda Niger–Congo 9,800,000[43] Rwanda
Kirundi Niger–Congo 8,800,000[43] Burundi
Kituba Kongo-based creole 5,400,000 Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo
Kongo Niger–Congo 5,600,000[56] Angola, recognised national language of Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo
Lingala Niger–Congo 5,500,000[43] National language of Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo
Luganda Niger–Congo 4,100,000[57] Native language of Uganda
Luhya Niger–Congo 6,800,000[58] Spoken in Kenya
Luo Nilo-Saharan (probable) 5,000,000[59] Kenya, Tanzania
Malagasy Austronesian 18,000,000[60] Madagascar
Mauritian Creole French Creole 1,100,000[61] Native language of Mauritius
Mossi Niger–Congo 7,600,000[43] Recognised regional language in Burkina Faso
Nambya Niger–Congo 100,000 Zimbabwe
Ndau Niger–Congo 2,400,000 Zimbabwe
Ndebele Niger–Congo 1,100,000[62] Statutory national language in South Africa
Noon Niger–Congo 33,000 Senegal
Northern Ndebele Niger–Congo 2,600,000 Zimbabwe
Northern Sotho Niger–Congo 4,600,000[63] South Africa
Oromo Afroasiatic 37,071,900 (2020) [64] Ethiopia
Portuguese Indo-European 17,000,000[65] Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe
Sena Niger–Congo 2,869,000 Zimbabwe
Sepedi Niger–Congo 4,700,000 South Africa
Sesotho Niger–Congo 5,600,000[66] Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Seychellois Creole French Creole 73,000 Seychelles
Shona Niger–Congo 7,200,000[67] Zimbabwe
Somali Afroasiatic 21,937,940[68] Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya
Spanish Indo-European 1,100,000[69] Equatorial Guinea, Spain (Ceuta, Melilla, Canary Islands), still marginally spoken in Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, recognized in Morocco
Southern Ndebele Niger–Congo 1,100,000 South Africa
Swahili Niger–Congo 50,000,000[70] Official in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Swazi Niger–Congo 2,300,000 Official in South Africa, Swaziland
Tamil Dravidian Spoken in Mauritius
Telugu Dravidian Spoken in Mauritius
Tigrinya Afroasiatic 7,000,000[71] Eritrea, regional language in Ethiopia
Tonga Niger–Congo 1,500,000 Zimbabwe
Tsonga Niger–Congo 3,700,000 Zimbabwe
Twi Niger–Congo 630,000 Regional language in Ghana
Tshiluba Niger–Congo 6,300,000[72] (1991) National language of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Tsonga Niger–Congo 5,000,000[73] South Africa, Zimbabwe (as 'as Shangani'), Mozambique
Tshivenda Niger–Congo 1,300,000 South Africa, Zimbabwe
Tswana Niger–Congo 5,800,000[74] Botswana, South Africa, spoken in Zimbabwe
Umbundu Niger–Congo 6,000,000[75] Angola
Venda Niger–Congo 1,300,000[76] South Africa, Zimbabwe
Wolof Niger–Congo 5,454,000[77] Lingua franca in Senegal
Xhosa Niger–Congo 7,600,000[43] South Africa, Zimbabwe
Yoruba Niger–Congo 28,000,000[43] Nigeria, Benin, Togo
Zulu Niger–Congo 10,400,000[43] South Africa

By region

Below is a list of the major languages of Africa by region, family and total number of primary language speakers in millions.

North Africa
Central Africa
Eastern Africa
Southern Africa
West Africa

See also




Colonial and migratory influences


  1. ^ Heine & Nurse (2000)
  2. ^ Epstein, Edmund L.; Kole, Robert, eds. (1998). The Language of African Literature. Africa World Press. p. ix. ISBN 0-86543-534-0. Retrieved 23 June 2011. Africa is incredibly rich in language—over 3,000 indigenous languages by some counts, and many creoles, pidgins, and lingua francas.
  3. ^ "Ethnologue report for Nigeria". Ethnologue Languages of the World.
  4. ^ Oluwole, Victor (12 September 2021). "A comprehensive list of all the English-speaking countries in Africa". Business Insider Africa. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  5. ^ Stein-Smith, Kathleen (17 March 2022). "Africa and the French language are growing together in global importance". The Conversation. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  6. ^ Yates, Y. "How Many People Speak Portuguese, And Where Is It Spoken?". Babbel Magazine. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  7. ^ "African Union Summit 2006: Khartoum, Sudan". Southern African Regional Poverty Network. Archived from the original on 30 May 2006.
  8. ^ Bender, M. Lionel (1985). "Review of Ehred & Posnansky (eds.), The archaeological and linguistic reconstruction of African history". Language. 61 (3–4). Linguistic Society of America: 695. doi:10.2307/414395. JSTOR 414395. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  9. ^ Ehret, Christopher (2000). "Language and History". In Heine, Bernd; Nurse, Derek (eds.). African Languages: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-521-66629-5. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  10. ^ Campbell, Lyle; Mixco, Mauricio J. (2007). A Glossary of Historical Linguistics. University of Utah Press. ISBN 9780874808926.
  11. ^ Matthews, P.H. (2014). Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics (3rd ed.). OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780199675128.
  12. ^ Pithouse, Kathleen; Mitchell, Claudia; Moletsane, Relebohile (16 December 2023). Making Connections: Self-Study & Social Action. Peter Lang. p. 91. ISBN 9781433105012.
  13. ^ Heese, J. A. (1971). Die herkoms van die Afrikaner, 1657–1867 [The origin of the Afrikaner, 1657–1867] (in Afrikaans). Cape Town: A. A. Balkema. OCLC 1821706. OL 5361614M.
  14. ^ Kloeke, G.G. (1950). Herkomst en groei van het Afrikaans (PDF). Leiden: Universitaire Pers Leiden.
  15. ^ Heeringa, Wilbert; de Wet, Febe (2007). "The origin of Afrikaans pronunciation: a comparison to west Germanic languages and Dutch dialects". CiteSeerX
  16. ^ Coetzee, Abel (1948). Standaard Afrikaans (PDF). Afrikaner Pers. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  17. ^ Tibategeza, Eustard (January 2023). "Language-in-Education Policy and Practice in the Democratic Republic of Congo".
  18. ^ Hugues Steve Ndinga-Koumba-Binza, Hugues Steve Ndinga-Koumba-Binza (August 2011). "From foreign to national: a review of the status of French in Gabon".
  19. ^ Hombert, Jean-Marie; Philippson, Gérard (2009). "The linguistic importance of language isolates: the African case". In Austin, Peter K.; Bond, Oliver; Charette, Monik; Nathan, David; Sells, Peter (eds.). Proceedings of Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory 2 (PDF). London: SOAS. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 May 2013.
  20. ^ Vossen, Rainer; Dimmendaal, Gerrit J., eds. (2020). The Oxford Handbook of African Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 392–407.
  21. ^ Lau, Charles (30 April 2020). "Language differences between interviewers and respondents in African surveys (Chapter 5)". In Sha, Mandy (ed.). The Essential Role of Language in Survey Research. RTI Press. pp. 101–115. doi:10.3768/rtipress.bk.0023.2004. ISBN 978-1-934831-24-3.
  22. ^ AfricaNews (26 July 2023). "Mali drops French as official language". Africanews. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  23. ^ AfricaNews (7 December 2023). "Burkina abandons French as an official language". Africanews. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  24. ^ "Algeria reinstates term limit and recognises Berber language". BBC News.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "JOURNAL OFFICIEL DE LA REPUBLIQUE DU MALI" (PDF). sgg-mali.ml. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2023. Langues nationales : langues considérées comme propres à une nation ou à un pays. Selon la Loi n°96- 049 du 23 août 1996, les langues nationales du Mali sont : le bamanankan (bambara), le bomu (bobo), le bozo (bozo), le dTgTsT (dogon), le fulfulde (peul), le hasanya (maure), le mamara (miniyanka), le maninkakan (malinké) le soninke (sarakolé), le soKoy (songhoï), le syenara (sénoufo), le tamasayt (tamasheq), le xaasongaxanKo (khassonké).
  26. ^ CIA – The World Factbook.
  27. ^ According to article 7 of The Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic Archived 18 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine: "The official languages of the Somali Republic shall be Somali (Maay and Maxaatiri) and Arabic. The second languages of the Transitional Federal Government shall be English and Italian".
  28. ^ Spencer, Erika Hope. "Research Guides: France & French Collections at the Library of Congress: Sub-Saharan Africa". guides.loc.gov. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  29. ^ Fehn, Anne-Maria (2019), Wolff, H. Ekkehard (ed.), "African Linguistics in Official Portuguese- and Spanish-Speaking Africa", A History of African Linguistics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 189–204, ISBN 978-1-108-41797-6, retrieved 28 March 2024
  30. ^ "ABOUT EQUATORIAL GUINEA | Equatorial Guinea Embassy USA". EG Embassy USA. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  31. ^ "The languages of South Africa" Archived 4 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine. southafrica.info.
  32. ^ "ETHIOPIA TO ADD 4 MORE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES TO FOSTER UNITY". Ventures Africa. Ventures. 4 March 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  33. ^ "Ethiopia is adding four more official languages to Amharic as political instability mounts". Nazret. Archived from the original on 17 August 2021. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  34. ^ Shaban, Abdurahman. "One to five: Ethiopia gets four new federal working languages". Africa News. Archived from the original on 15 December 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  35. ^ African languages for Africa's development Archived 24 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine ACALAN (French & English).
  36. ^ "Tongues under threat". The Economist. 22 January 2011. p. 58.
  37. ^ 327 millions de francophones dans le monde en 2023 odsef.fss.ulaval.ca (in French)
  38. ^ Verdeau, Paul (20 March 2023). "En 2023, 327 millions de personnes parlent français dans le monde, dont près de la moitié en Afrique". RTBF (in French). Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  39. ^ "The Embassy of the Republic of Angola – Culture". Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  40. ^ Anderson, Gregory D. S. (2011). "Auxiliary verb constructions in the languages of Africa". Studies in African Linguistics. 40 (1 & 2): 1–409. doi:10.32473/sal.v40i1.107282.
  41. ^ "Abron". Ethnologue. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  42. ^ Census 2011: Census in brief (PDF). Pretoria: Statistics South Africa. 2012. ISBN 978-0-621-41388-5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 May 2015.
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Världens 100 största språk 2007" [The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007]. Nationalencyklopedin (in Swedish).
  44. ^ "Amharic". Ethnologue.
  45. ^ "Arabic". Ethnologue.
  46. ^ "Berber". Ethnologue.
  47. ^ "Bhojpuri". Ethnologue. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  48. ^ "Chichewa". Ethnologue.
  49. ^ "Dangme". Ethnologue. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  50. ^ "English". Ethnologue.
  51. ^ "French". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  52. ^ "Gikuyu". Ethnologue.
  53. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D. "Ethnologue hau". Ethnologue. SIL International. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  54. ^ "Igbo". Ethnologue.
  55. ^ Brenzinger, Matthias (2011). "The twelve modern Khoisan languages". In Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena; Ernszt, Martina (eds.). Khoisan languages and linguistics: proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium, Riezlern / Kleinwalsertal. QKF Research in Khoisan Studies. Vol. 29. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. p. 2. ISBN 978-3-89645-873-5.
  56. ^ "Kongo". Ethnologue.
  57. ^ "Luganda". 19 November 2019.
  58. ^ "Luhya". Ethnologue.
  59. ^ "Dholuo". Ethnologue.
  60. ^ a b "Malagasy". Ethnologue.
  61. ^ "Morisyen". Ethnologue.
  62. ^ "Ndebele". Ethnologue. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  63. ^ "Sotho, Northern". Ethnologue.
  64. ^ "Oromo first-language speakers at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020)". Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  65. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D. "Ethnologue report for Portuguese". Ethnologue. SIL International. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  66. ^ "Sotho, Southern". Ethnologue.
  67. ^ "Ethnologue report for Shona (S.10)". Archived from the original on 19 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  68. ^ "Somali". SIL International. 2024. Retrieved 5 February 2024.
  69. ^ "Spanish". Ethnologue. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  70. ^ Peek, Philip M.; Yankah, Kwesi, eds. (2004). "Swahili". African folklore: an encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 699. doi:10.4324/9780203493144. ISBN 0-415-93933-X.
  71. ^ "Tigrigna". Ethnologue.
  72. ^ "Luba-Kasai". Ethnologue.
  73. ^ "Tsonga". Ethnologue.
  74. ^ "Tswana". 19 November 2019.
  75. ^ "Umbundu". Ethnologue.
  76. ^ "Venda". Ethnologue. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  77. ^ "Wolof". Ethnologue. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  78. ^ Mannan, Nuraddin (31 May 2006). "Memories of Utopia- Infoshop, World Bank" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2015. There is no exact census for the Nubian population but some researchers estimate their number in Sudan for about 5 millions and about three millions in Egypt.
  79. ^ "CORRECTION: Census shows South Sudan population at 8.2 million: report – Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". www.sudantribune.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  80. ^ "unsudanig.org" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  81. ^ DRDC Report on the 5th Population Census in Sudan darfurcentre.ch [permanent dead link]
  82. ^ Shoup, John A. (2011). Ethnic Groups of Africa and the Middle East. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 333. ISBN 978-1-59884-363-7. The Zaghawa is one of the major divisions of the Beri peoples who live in western Sudan and eastern Chad, and their language, also called Zaghawa, belongs to the Saharan branch of the Nilo-Saharan language group.
  83. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  84. ^ a b c "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  85. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  86. ^ a b "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  87. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  88. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  89. ^ a b c d "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  90. ^ a b "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  91. ^ a b c "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  92. ^ a b c d "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  93. ^ a b c d e f "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  94. ^ a b c "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  95. ^ "Welcome to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics". Archived from the original on 21 November 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  96. ^ Racoma, Dine (22 April 2012). "The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania". The Language Journal. Archived from the original on 28 April 2012.
  97. ^ Summary and Statistical Report of the 2007 Population and Housing Census: Population Size by Age and Sex (PDF) (Report). Addis Ababa: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. December 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  98. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  99. ^ "Report on minority groups in Somalia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2013.
  100. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  101. ^ a b c d "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  102. ^ Akindipe, Tola; Kakaula, Geofrey; Joné, Alcino. "Learn Chokwe Language". Learn Chokwe (Mofeko).
  103. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  104. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  105. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  106. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  107. ^ a b "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  108. ^ a b "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  109. ^ "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.
  110. ^ a b "The World Factbook". 22 September 2021.