Why Do Most Sub-Saharan Africans Speak More Than One Language?


Why do so many sub-Saharan African countries speak English or French?

The language is an important component as most of the African countries adopt English French Portuguese or Spanish as (one of the) official language(s) due to the colonial rule and need to unify peoples with different local languages which would facilitates the emigration to the corresponding language spoken …

Is there more than one language spoken in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sub-Saharan Africa presents a complex linguistic landscape. Small indigenous languages with thousands of speakers exist side by side with regional and national lingua francas (or trade languages). … The use of regional and national lingua francas as second or third languages in Africa is hence steadily rising.

What language is spoken in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Two of the most common languages indigenous to Sub-Saharan Africa are Swahili or Kiswahili and Amharic. Amharic is indigenous to Ethiopia while Swahili is one of the languages of the Bantu people a general term for people who speak Bantu languages and who are indigenous to various countries in the region.

Which language group is the most influential in Sub-Saharan Africa?

1. Introduction. It is estimated that there are more than 500 Bantu languages spoken in sub-Saharan Africa [1] making this one of the largest and most widespread language groupings in the world.

Why is English the official language of so many African countries?

While the English language is valued by African countries as serving global economic interests it also may serve economic and peace relations within the continent. English may be viewed as a tool that crosses regional cultural and linguistic barriers.

Why do so many Africans speak English?

As in the Caribbean a number of African countries have English as an official language because of colonialism. In all of Africa — a population of about 1.2 billion — only 6.5 million people speak English as their native language.

Which two colonial languages are the most widespread in sub Saharan Africa?

Why are English and French the most common languages spoken in Sub Saharan Africa? Because of European colonization what do Sub Saharan Africans primarily export? South Africa’s economy is ranked 30th in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) yet has very high poverty rates.

How many different languages are spoken in Africa?

2 000 languages

There are an estimated 2 000 languages spoken in Africa. The American linguist Joseph Greenberg argued that they fall into six major linguistic families: Afroasiatic stretches from North Africa to the Horn of Africa and Southwest Asia.

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What is the most spoken language in the world?

The most spoken languages in the world
  • English (1.132 million speakers)
  • Mandarin (1.117 million speakers)
  • Spanish (534 million speakers)
  • French (280 million speakers)
  • Arabic (274 million speakers)
  • Russian (258 million speakers)
  • Portuguese (234 million speakers)

What is the biggest language in Africa?

1. SWAHILI. 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.Jul 19 2018

Why is French spoken in Africa?

The French language was brought to the African continent through colonialism. During the 1950s and 60s France and Belgium lost control of their African colonies however French is still spoken in at least 29 African countries.

Which is the most important of the indigenous language groups in sub-Saharan Africa?

The Niger-Congo language family is one of the largest language families in the world and the largest one in Africa in terms of its geographical spread across most of sub-Saharan Africa number of speakers and the number of languages (1514).

How many African countries speak English as their official language?

There are about two dozen African countries where English is spoken an official language.

How many African countries speak French as their official language?

11 African countries
French remains the sole official language in 11 African countries and the second official language in 10.Oct 18 2018

Why is African language important?

African languages are very important in many ways. It is clear that teaching in local languages usually convey clearer messages and understanding than foreign languages. As language gives a link to culture and social life indigenous language would continue to be very important.

Why is English the most spoken language?

When factoring in second- third- and higher language speakers English is the largest language in the world. This is due first to the colonial influence of the British Empire but later to the spread of American culture.

How many languages does the average African speak?

Africa’s linguistic diversity can even be found among individual Africans. For instance a study of 100 inhabitants in a city in western Uganda found that the average speaker knows 4.34 actual languages.

Which country speaks less English?

To narrow down this list we first looked at the 13 countries where fewer than 10 percent of the population speaks English according to The Telegraph. These include China The Gambia Malawi Colombia Swaziland Brazil Russia Argentina Algeria Uganda Yemen Chile and Tanzania.

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What is the dominant language of sub Saharan Africa quizlet?

What is the largest and most extensive language family in Sub-Saharan Africa? Niger-Congo language family dominates with the Bantu language group being the largest and most extensive subfamily.

Which is the most densely populated region of sub Saharan Africa?

The Three Most Densely Populated Countries Of Africa Mauritius has a population of 1 264 000 where 1 219 265 reside in the main island of Mauritius. The country covers a total area of 790 square miles translating to a population density of 1 601.2 persons per square mile the highest in Africa.

Why is sub Saharan Africa a periphery country?

Subsaharan Africa is a peripheral world region with neocolonial economic patterns. Peripheral regions usually supply raw materials food and cheap labor to the core industrial countries. … There is no single major core economic area in Subsaharan Africa. This realm has many core cities and the rest is periphery.

Why does Africa have the most genetic diversity?

Africa is an important region to study human genetic diversity because of its complex population history and the dramatic variation in climate diet and exposure to infectious disease which result in high levels of genetic and phenotypic variation in African populations.

Why are indigenous languages less threatened in Africa?

In Africa there is better support from local government community and cultural groups whereas in the Americas fewer public and private institutions support indigenous language use.

Which continent has least languages?

Whereas Asia leads the statistics with 2 301 languages Africa follows closely with 2 138. There are about 1 300 languages in the Pacific and 1 064 in South and North America. Europe despite its many nation-states is at the bottom of the pack with just 286.

What is the hardest language to learn?



As mentioned before Mandarin is unanimously considered the toughest language to master in the world! Spoken by over a billion people in the world the language can be extremely difficult for people whose native languages use the Latin writing system.

Which language is most bad words used in the world?

The Polish language like most others has swear words and profanity. Some words are not always seen as very insulting however there are others that are considered by some greatly offensive and rude.

What is the easiest language to learn?

And The Easiest Language To Learn Is…
  1. Norwegian. This may come as a surprise but we have ranked Norwegian as the easiest language to learn for English speakers. …
  2. Swedish. …
  3. Spanish. …
  4. Dutch. …
  5. Portuguese. …
  6. Indonesian. …
  7. Italian. …
  8. French.

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What is the oldest language in Africa?

Africa is known for being home to some of the ancient languages in the world. Although it is hard to be certain that a particular language spoken in Africa was the oldest many people agree on the name of Ancient Egyptian. The name of the Khoisan languages also shows up often during such discussions.

What is the most useful African language to learn?


Arguably the most useful indigenous African languages for Americans to learn are Yoruba (primarily spoken in Nigeria) Xhosa (South Africa) Swahili (Kenya Tanzania and much of East Africa) and Amharic (mainly Ethiopia).

Why do some Africans speak Arabic?

This ethnic identity is a product of the Arab conquest of North Africa during the Arab–Byzantine wars and the spread of Islam to Africa. … The descendants of the original Arab settlers who continue to speak Arabic as a first language currently form the single largest population group in North Africa.

Which part of Africa is Sub Saharan?

Sub-Saharan Africa is geographically the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations it consists of all African countries and territories that are fully or partially south of the Sahara.

What is the second most studied language in the world?

French – Second most popular language of study in 77 out of 194 countries.

Which indigenous language group is most widespread in sub-Saharan Africa quizlet?

More than 95 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa speak languages of the Niger-Congo family. One of the languages in this family is Swahili. More than 95 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa speak languages of the Niger-Congo family. One of the languages in this family is Swahili.

Which country in sub-Saharan Africa has the largest population in the region?


Nigeria has the largest population in Africa.

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