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.
What are colonial languages?
In linguistics, colonial lag is the hypothesis that colonial varieties of a language (such as American English) change less than the variety spoken in the mother country (British English).
What languages did Africans speak before colonization?
In the English colonies Africans spoke an English-based Atlantic Creole, generally called plantation creole. Low Country Africans spoke an English-based creole that came to be called Gullah. Gullah is a language closely related to Krio a creole spoken in Sierra Leone.
How many African languages are there?
Languages of Africa. There are an estimated 2,000 languages spoken in Africa.
Why are European languages the official languages in Africa?
Some regions had more than one European country that claimed them at various points in history. As a result, European languages, or colonial languages, became the official language(s) in most Africa countries.
What is the oldest African language?
Afrikaans is one of the official languages of South Africa. It belongs to the West Germanic branch of the Indo-European family. It evolved from the variety of Dutch which was spoken by Dutch settlers in South Africa.
What is the dominant language in the world?
English is the largest language in the world, if you count both native and non-native speakers. If you count only native speakers, Mandarin Chinese is the largest. Mandarin Chinese is the largest language in the world when counting only first language (native) speakers.
What is the most popular language in Africa?
The most spoken language in Africa is Swahili which is said to have between 100 and 150 million speakers. Known as a ‘Bantu’ language, Swahili apparently originated from other languages like Arabic.
Is Arabic an African language?
Arabic is the second biggest language spoken Africa. Many countries like Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt Sudan and Western Sahara speak Arabic and many more know it as a second language. 260 million people in Africa speak Arabic with many different dialects.
What is the oldest map of Africa?
The oldest map of the African continent, dating back to 1389, has gone on display in Cape Town. It is part of an exhibition drawing attention to the history of South Africa and the way it is perceived around the world. The Chinese map, covering more than 17 square metres, was produced in silk.
What are the 11 languages?
South Africa’s Constitution recognises 11 official languages: Sepedi (also known as Sesotho sa Leboa), Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu. For centuries South Africa’s official languages were European – Dutch, English, Afrikaans.
What are the 11 official languages?
Generally considered to be among the most multilingual countries in the world and among the most multiethnic in Africa, post-apartheid South Africa has 11 official languages recognized in its democratic constitution: English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Ndebele, Zulu, Tswana, Swati, Sotho, Southern Sotho, Venda and Tsonga.
What is African language called?
Swahili language, also called kiSwahili, or Kiswahili, Bantu language spoken either as a mother tongue or as a fluent second language on the east coast of Africa in an area extending from Lamu Island, Kenya, in the north to the southern border of Tanzania in the south.
What is the most spoken European language in Africa?
French has over 100 million speakers in various countries on the African continent. French was introduced to the continent during the colonial rule. French in Africa is different than the French spoken in France or other parts of Europe.
Is English an African language?
English is uniquely African in many ways. It has served as a language of pacification, a language of opportunity, and a language of academic debate over issues that impact the continent. In addition to being a language of pacification, English is widely viewed in Mauritania as a language of opportunity.
Which country has the most languages in Africa?
Nigeria: And the African country with the most languages is… Nigeria. The official language is English, while 24 million people speak Igbo. 4.