Languages of Botswana

Languages of Botswana
Official English, Tswana
National Tswana, Sekalalaka, Seherero

The official languages of Botswana are English and Tswana. English, which was inherited from colonial rule (see: Bechuanaland Protectorate), is the official business language of Botswana, and most written communication is in English. A majority of the population speaks Tswana, but there are over 20 much smaller languages. Botswana also has many dying languages and also many expanding languages.

Official languages [ edit ]

The official written language of Botswana is English. Most written communication and official business texts are written in English.

The main spoken language of Botswana is Tswana. Tswana is spoken by most of the population, often as a purely spoken language.[1]

Other languages [ edit ]

Although there are two clear official languages, there are other languages that a large percentage of the population speaks. Over 90% of the population speak a Bantu language natively. The most common Bantu languages spoken are Tswana/Setswana (estimated to be spoken natively by 77.3%, though the real number may by higher), Kalanga (7.4%), Kgalagadi (3.4%), Shona (2%), Mbukushu (1.6%) and Ndebele (1%). 1.7% speak Tshwa (a Khoe language) and 0.1% speak !Xóõ, a Tuu language (both non-Bantu). A further 2.8% also speak English, the official language as their first language, and a small number speak Afrikaans.[2]

The number of individual languages listed for Botswana is 31. All are living languages. Of these, 26 are indigenous and 5 are non-indigenous. Furthermore, 4 are institutional, 9 are developing, 8 are vigorous, 9 are in trouble, and 1 is dying.[3]

Languages Spoken in Botswana[4] [ edit ]

  1. Afrikaans
  2. Ani
  3. Birwa
  4. Chichewa
  5. English
  6. Gana
  7. Gciriku
  8. Gwi
  9. Hai||om
  10. Herero
  11. ‡Hua
  12. Ju|’hoansi
  13. Kalanga
  14. Kgalagadi
  15. Khoekhoe
  16. Khwedam
  17. Kua
  18. Kuhane
  19. Kung-Ekoka
  20. Lozi
  21. Mbukushu
  22. Nambya
  23. Naro
  24. Ndebele
  25. Setswana
  26. Shua
  27. Tshuwau
  28. Tswapong
  29. !Xóõ
  30. Yeyi
  31. Zezuru

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ "The Languages spoken in Botswana". Studylands. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  2. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  3. ^ "Botswana". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2019-07-17.
  4. ^ "Botswana". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2019-07-17.

External links [ edit ]

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