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PanAfriL10n - PanAfrLoc - Nama

Nama - Khoekhoe

1.  Classification / Classification

Nama is a Khoisan language whose subclassification is widely contested; Greenberg lists it as Central South African Khoisan; Westphal considers it Khoikhoi. (Webbook?)

Ethnologue? lists the classification as: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Khoekhoe, Central, Nama

Nama is evidently the ethnic group name. The language is also called Khoekhoe (from the endonym, Khoekhoegowab).


2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

Nama is spoken from the Kaukau Veld in northern Namibia to Cape Province in South Africa. (Webbook)


3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

According to Ethnologue (accessed 2016-1):

  • 200,000 in Namibia (2006)
  • 50,900 in South Africa (2006)
  • 200 in Botswana (2006)
  • Population total all countries: 251,100

4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

According to Ethnologue (accessed 2007):

  • Damara
  • Sesfontein Damara (reported to be unintelligible to speakers of other dialects)
  • Namidama
  • Central Damara
  • Nama

Wikipedia (accessed 2015-11-16) indicates three main dialects:

  • Nama–Damara, incl. Sesfontein Damara
  • Haiǁom
  • ǂĀkhoe

5.  Usage / Utilisation

Nama is a regional language. It is currently being introduced as a university subject at The Academy (Windhoek). (Webbook)

According to Ethnologue (accessed 2007):

  • (Namibia): National language. Offered as a school subject. Can be studied up to doctoral level at U. of Namibia, also used in administration
  • (South Africa): Language of secondary education
  • (Botswana): Literacy rate:
    • L1: ?
    • L2: 80% Tswana, 10% English

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

An authorized orthography for Nama exists. (Webbook) [Need more details.]

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

Omniglot has a sample alphabet and text: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/nama.htm

The Wikipedia article on Nama language also includes a sample text.

A sample text is shown on the "Language Museum" site: http://www.language-museum.com/n/nama.htm


7.  Use in ICT / Utilisation dans les TIC

7.1  Fonts / Polices

7.2  Keyboard layouts / Dispositions de clavier

7.3  Content on computers & internet / Contenu en informatique et sur l'Internet

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

Not aware of any localisation efforts for this language.

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue

Khoekhoe / Nama

  • ISO 639-1: -
  • ISO 639-2: -
  • ISO 639-3: naq

Hai||om (Haikom)

  • ISO 639-3: hgm

(ISO 639-2 for Khoisan languages is khi)

7.6  Other / Autre


8.  Localisation resources / Ressources pour localisation

8.1  Individuals (experts) / Individuelles (experts)

8.2  Institutions / Institutions

8.3  On the internet / Sur la toile


9.  Comments / Remarques


10.  References / Références

Dwyer, David (1997), Webbook of African Languages, http://africa.isp.msu.edu/afrlang/hiermenu.html (page on "Nama," http://africa.isp.msu.edu/afrlang/Nama_root.html )

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Hai||om," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/hgm

______, "Khoekhoe," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/naq

SIL International, "ISO 639 Code Tables," http://www-01.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp

U.S. Library of Congress, "ISO 639.2: Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages: Alpha-3 codes arranged alphabetically by the English name of language," http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/English_list.php

Wikipedia, "ǂAakhoe dialect," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ǂAakhoe_dialect

______, "Khoekhoe language," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khoekhoe_language


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Categories: Languages, NW South Africa, Western Botswana