Languages

LIST OF LANGUAGES

Available into and from:

 

 AFRIKAANS

Afrikaans is spoken throughout South Africa and Namibia mainly by white Afrikaners, coloured South Africans and sections of the black population. Although the language has European roots, today the majority of Afrikaans-speakers are not white.

Home language to: 13.3% of the population (6.7 million speakers)

 KINYARWANDA

Kinyarwanda is the official language of Rwanda and a dialect of the Rwanda-Rundi language spoken by people in Burundi, Eastern Congo and adjacent parts of southern Uganda. It is one of the three official languages of Rwanda (along with English and French), and is spoken by almost all of the native population.

Home language to: 10 million speakers.

 KIRUNDI

Kirundi, also known as Rundi, is spoken by people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as in Uganda. It is the official language of Burundi.

Home language to: 10 million speakers.

 NDEBELE

Officially known as isiNdebele it is a tonal language, governed by the noun, which dominates the sentence. IsiNdebele is mainly spoken in the provinces of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

Home language to: 1.6% of the population (850,000 speakers).

 SOMALI

Somali is an official language of the Federal Republic of Somalia, a national language in Djibouti, and a working language in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Home language to: 17 million speakers.

 SOTHO (NORTH)

Otherwise known as Sepedi or Sesotho sa Leboa, Sepedi is mostly spoken in the province of Limpopo, as well as in Gauteng and Mpumalanga. There are 8 dialects in the area of which PEDI is the most predominant and also forms the basis of the language grouping. It is one of South Africa’s three Sotho languages.

Home language to: 9.4% of the population (4.7 million speakers).

 SOTHO (SOUTH)

Sesotho, or Southern Sotho, is spoken in the country of Lesotho, which is entirely surrounded by South African territory, as well as in the Free State province and southern Gauteng. With Setswana and isiZulu, Sesotho was one of the first African languages to be rendered in written form, and it has an extensive literature.

Home language to: 7.9% of the population (4 million speakers).

 SWAHILI

Also known as Kiswahili, is a Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of Southeast Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Home language to: 15 million people, understood by 150 million.

 SWATI

SiSwati, the language of the Swazi nation, is spoken mainly in eastern Mpumalanga, an area that borders the country of Swaziland. SiSwati is one of South Africa’s four Nguni languages, and closely related to isiZulu.

Home language to: 2.7% of the population (1.4 million speakers).

 TSONGA

Xitsonga, is spoken in eastern Limpopo and Mpumalanga, areas near the border of the country of Mozambique, as well as in southern Mozambique and south-eastern Zimbabwe. Xitsonga is similar to Xishangana, the language of the Shangaan people, and also has some Nguni influences.

Home language to: 4.4% of the population (2.2 million speakers).

 TSWANA

Officially known as Setswana, the language of the Tswana people is spoken mostly in Botswana, a country on the north-western border of South Africa, as well as in the Northern Cape province, the central and western Free State and in North West.

Home language to: 8.2% of the population (4.1 million speakers).

 VENDA

Officially known as Tshivenda, it is generally regarded as a language isolate. It is the language of the Venda people, who are culturally closer to the Shona people of Zimbabwe than to any other South African group. Spoken mainly in northern Limpopo, an area bordering the country of Zimbabwe, Tshivenda shares features with Shona and Sepedi, with some influence from Nguni languages. The language requires a number of additional characters or diacritical signs not found on standard keyboards.

Home language to: 2.3% of the population (1.2 million speakers).

 XHOSA

Officially known as IsiXhosa, it is one of South Africa’s four Nguni languages. It is a tonal language, governed by the noun, which dominates the sentence. It is spoken mainly in the Eastern and Western Cape regions.

Home language to: 17.6% of the population (8.8 million speakers).

 ZULU

Officially known as IsiZulu, it is the language of South Africa’s largest ethnic group, the Zulu people who reside mainly in KwaZulu-Natal. isiZulu is closely related to isiXhosa and is probably the most widely understood African language in South Africa.

Home language to: 23.8% of the population (12 million speakers).

Please let us know if the language you require is not listed.