The dominant language of the Eastern Cape, isiXhosa is also the second-largest language in South Africa after isiZulu. All users: 27,300,000 (estimate). Although Afrikaans is very similar to Dutch, it is clearly a separate language, differing from Standard Dutch in its sound system and its loss of case and gender distinctions. 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. starting in 1820, and though they were eventually forced out by the Dutch settlers and their descendants, English had ample time to become established in the Cape Colony and beyond. In 1910 English and Dutch were declared the official languages of the new Union of South Africa. -Ndebele. African languages, spoken by at least 80% of the people, were ignored. Within the provinces, Sesotho is spoken by close to two-thirds (64.2%) of the population of the Free State, over a tenth (11.6%) of Gauteng, and by 5.8% of people living in North West. Second-language users: 2,400,000 (2002 estimate) The online dictionary of South African English, Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, Pharos South African Multilingual Dictionary, Language in South Africa: The role of language in national transformation, reconstruction and development, Khoisan languages and linguistics, Proceedings of the 3rd international symposium, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. Second-language users: 1,400,000 (2002 estimate) Within the broader Nguni-Tsonga language subfamily which it shares with isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu and siSwati, it alone falls into the Tswa-Ronga group, while the other languages are Nguni. As a first language it is mainly confined to the cities. It is barely spoken by other population groups, being the home language of 0.2% of both the coloured and white population, and 0.8% of Indian or Asian people. English - African translator . Like Sesotho and Setswana, it is a Sotho language. Almost all native speakers of Afrikaans worldwide live in South Africa, with a few hundred thousand scattered in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho, the landlocked country inside of South Africa. Over the centuries it has picked up many influences from African languages, as well as from European colonial languages such as English, French and German. Among first-language isiNdebele speakers, 97% are black, 0.9% Indian or Asian, 0.8% coloured, 0.8% white and 0.5% other. Though these people’s desires to preserve the integrity of their language are not necessarily designed to have a nationalist bent, these movements attract those who most proudly associate their language with their identity — typically white, male Afrikaner language activists. Maar why benga stopi this system ye-injury time?”, “Chiefs [the football club] have won because the referee favoured them. The 11 officially recognised languages are English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sepedi, Xhosa, Venda, Tswana, Southern Sotho, Zulu, Swazi, or SiSwati, and Tsonga. Afrikaans has a fascinating history of its own, and a heritage and culture that are deeply entwined in its character. English is an urban language of public life, widely used in the media, business and government. South African Journal of African Languages, Volume 40, Issue 2 (2020) Research articles . All users: 3,697,046 (estimate). If you’ve ever taken a. The 1,209,388 South Africans who speak Tshivenda are just 2.4% of the country’s population, making it the second-smallest language after isiNdebele. The English brought their language with them in their arrival to the Cape starting in 1820, and though they were eventually forced out by the Dutch settlers and their descendants, English had ample time to become established in the Cape Colony and beyond. English is minimally spoken in the other provinces. Though historically the language was weaponized as a symbol of Afrikaner white nationalism to the exclusion of other racial populations, Afrikaans sprang up in and permeated non-white communities, who used a vernacular distinct enough from the white variety that it set them apart and allowed them to build a sense of solidarity within their communities. Elsewhere in the world the ability to speak many languages is a sign of sophistication. Even today, there are visible remnants of the division of much of the African continent among the European imperial powers during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Kief. Chances are you’ll run into someone who speaks a Bantu language most everywhere you go in South Africa. There are eleven major languages of South Africa; Afrikaans, English, Swazi, Sotho, Swan, Ndebele, Venda, Zulu, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, and Xhosa. English is the lingua franca of South Africa. Afrikaans has its roots in 17th century … They are: -Southern Sotho. Taking a look at the languages in South Africa helps peel away at the many layers that shaped the nation’s history and make the country what is today. Nearly two-fifths (39.8%) of Xitsonga-speaking South Africans live in Limpopo, over a third (35%) in Gauteng, 18.3% in Mpumalanga and 5.6% in North West. -Pedi/Northern Sotho. In fact, according to a 2011 census, the majority of those who use Afrikaans at home are part of this group — just over half of the total native speakers of the tongue. These indigenous languages in South Africa have been around for far longer than the European languages that were introduced in the colonial era. First-language users: 3,798,915 (7.6% of the population) A legacy of colonialism is a major part of South African history, as it is with so many other nations on the African continent. The first is how few South Africans speak just one language. In the population as a whole, siSwati is spoken by 3.2% of black South Africans, by around 0.1% of the other population groups, and by 0.5% of people who describe themselves as “other”. Afrikaans became an official language in South Africa with the Official Languages of the Union Act of 1925, which retroactively dated the language’s official status to 1910. The expansion began in around 3000 BCE and was largely complete by 1000 CE. Though these people’s desires to preserve the integrity of their language are not necessarily designed to have a nationalist bent, these movements attract those who most proudly associate their language with their identity — typically white, male Afrikaner language activists. Like isiNdebele, isiXhosa and siSwati, isiZulu is an Nguni language. South Africa is a multicultural society that is characterised by its rich linguistic diversity. South Africa is a diverse nation with a rich language heritage. The statistics are based on the languages … This is … Unless otherwise indicated, all figures used below are from Census 2011 and refer to first language (language spoken at home) only. Its 3,996,951 speakers make up 8% of South Africa’s population. All users: 2,909,388 (estimate). But why is this system of injury time not stopped?”. The language is still interwoven with the cultural core of the nation; the popular South African equivalent of a barbecue is called a braai, and it’s a go-to pastime at plenty of parties, festivities and gatherings. There’s no doubt that Afrikaans is a South African invention, a language born and bred in — and deeply interwoven in the history of — that unique nation positioned at the southern tip of Africa. (Collage images sourced from South African Tourism). The English brought their language with them in their. The second map reveals a couple of things. In the Eastern Cape isiXhosa is spoken by 80% of the population. Sesotho sa Leboa is South Africa’s third-largest African language (after isiZulu and isiXhosa), and mainly spoken in Limpopo. Our languages are and have been for centuries in a constant swirl, mixed by work, migration, education, urbanisation, the places we live, friendship and marriage. Also known as: isiBhuru (isiNdebele), isiBhulu (isiXhosa), isiBhunu (isiZulu), siBhunu (siSwati), Seburu (Sesotho sa Leboa), Xibunu (Xitsonga) There are eleven official languages of South Africa. The language is anchored in the Dutch brought over by the early colonizers, but it has a simpler grammatical structure and more sensical spelling than its parent language does. Most South Africans are multilingual and able to speak at least two or more of the official languages. Almost a fifth (19.8%) of Gautengers speak isiZulu. Sesotho is spoken by just under a tenth (9.4%) of black South Africans. English. The language of North West and its neighbouring country of Botswana, Setswana is the Tswanaic language in the Sotho-Tswana subfamily, which it shares with Sesotho and Sesotho sa Leboa. The language is only popular in city metropolises (Cape Town, Johannesburg). In 1996 South Africa’s new Constitution gave official protection to all major languages. The language has its roots in 17th century Dutch, with influences from English, Malay, German, Portuguese, French and some African languages. If a person did not speak a second language, that too was recorded. Tagged as: Afrikaans, education, English, History, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, language, population groups, provinces, Sesotho, Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga. You need an online translator for translating English into African. Some 8.3% of all isiZulu speakers live in Mpumalanga, which borders KwaZulu-Natal to the northwest. A, is a bro, buddy or pal, someone you might greet with a quintessentially South African, instead of a “How are you?” You might eat the jerky-like dried and seasoned meat called, if you’re in South Africa, and if you enjoy it, you would say that it’s. Within the provinces, isiZulu is spoken by over three-quarters (77.8%) of the population of KwaZulu-Natal, and nearly a quarter (24.1%) of the people of Mpumalanga. Among first-language siSwati speakers, 99.3% are black, 0.3% coloured, 0.2% white and 0.1% Indian or Asian. Eastern Cape’s Language-in-Education policy implementation initiative for bilingual education: A historical and onion metaphor conceptualisation. Less than 2% of South African citizens speak a first language that is not an official language. . Within the provinces, Tshivenda is spoken by 16.7% of the population of Limpopo, and 2.3% of the population of Gauteng. Please check the Creative Commons licence (identified in the image metadata or in the caption) for the terms of use of each individual image. This website contains information about African Languages, and other African Language related resources. Among the population groups, isiXhosa is spoken by 20.1% of black South Africans, the second-largest share after isiZulu. Over a quarter (27.3%) live in KwaZulu-Natal, 23.5% in the Western Cape, and 7.4% in the Eastern Cape. Only time will tell how the country’s linguistic legacy will play out in the years to come. All users: 2,490,233 (estimate). The provinces and ‘homelands’ of South Africa before 1996, The 16 June 1976 Soweto students' uprising – as it happened, “The twelve modern Khoisan languages” (2013) by Matthias Bretzinger. For centuries South Africa’s official languages were European – … IsiZulu is in regular type, Afrikaans in bold and English in italics: “I-Chiefs isidle nge-referee’s ngabe ihambe sleg. Second-language users: 15,700,000 (2002 estimate) The two languages share an estimated 90 to 95 percent of their vocabulary, and Afrikaans’ simpler grammar makes it almost entirely intelligible to a Dutch speaker (though an Afrikaans speaker might not understand Dutch as fluidly). Thirty are living languages, and four extinct Khoesan languages. , and in South Africa, it’s no exception. The 4,892,623 South Africans who speak English as a first language make up 9.6% of the country’s total population. Xitsonga is a minority language concentrated along South Africa’s northeast border with the country of Mozambique, where it is also spoken. The languages in South Africa are just as important as any other factor in understanding the essence of the country itself — especially the intersection of indigenous populations and invading people, of the past and the present, of oppression and reconciliation. Similarly, Sesotho, Sesotho sa Leboa and Setswana are closely related Sotho languages, and Tshivenda something of a standalone in the Sotho-Makua-Venda subfamily. Also known as: Engels (Afrikaans), isiNgisi (isiNdebele and isiZulu), isiNgesi (isiXhosa), Senyesemane (Sesotho), Seisemane (Sesotho sa Leboa), siNgisi (siSwati), Xinghezi (Xitsonga) A full 99.4% of first-language Tshivenda speakers are black, 0.2% coloured, 0.2% white and 0.1% Indian or Asian. Also called Southern Ndebele, it is not to be confused with Northern Ndebele, more commonly known as Matabele, which is closer to isiZulu and an official language of Zimbabwe. Language is fluid, especially in South Africa. Also known as: Xhosa The majority of South Africans can speak and understand English, so tourists will be able to communicate with locals relatively easily. The popularity of English is helped in part by the history of apartheid that’s so inextricable from Afrikaans and the reaction against its legacy as a language of oppression. Second-language users: 11,000,000 (2002 estimate) Sesotho sa Leboa is the first language of 4,618,576 people, or 9.1% of the total population. The 6,855,082 South Africans who speak Afrikaans as a first language make up 13.5% of the country’s total population. , literally a “jumping antelope.”  And as much as many would like to wipe away the lasting remnants of Afrikaner nationalism that underlay the onset of apartheid, Afrikaans is still a point of pride for many who trace their roots to the country’s earlier colonial history and their identity struggle against the British. -Xhosa. According to the 2011 census, it is spoken by 13.5% of the population, or 6 855 082 people – mainly coloured and white South Africans. The eleven official languages are Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho (Southern Sotho), Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho), Setswana, Swati, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga. First-language users: 1,297,046 (2.5% of the population) In the Western Cape it is spoken by 20.2% of the population, and in Gauteng by 13.3%. It is the second-largest language in both the Western Cape (after Afrikaans) and Gauteng (after isiZulu). The language is still interwoven with the cultural core of the nation; the popular South African equivalent of a barbecue is called a, , and it’s a go-to pastime at plenty of parties, festivities and gatherings. We explain what they are, where they’re spoken and, most importantly, when to speak them. It is the first language of 0.9% of coloured people, 0.4% of both Indians and whites, and 2.4% of people who describe themselves as “other”. The 11 languages spoken in South Africa are: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tswana, Venda, Tsonga, Swati and Ndebele. Do you speak the language? First-language users: 4,892,623 (9.6% of South Africans) just like German, English and of course, Dutch, the language it stems from. English. 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