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PanAfriL10n - PanAfrLoc - BatibosList

List of nationally & areally dominant languages of Africa

This is one of 5 lists of major African languages reviewed in 2006
for revising the list of Major Languages on this wiki.

This presentation of major African languages by country is copied (via a scan) from: Herman Batibo. 2005. Language Decline and Death in Africa: Causes, Consequences, and Challenges. Clevedon, UK : Multilingual Matters. The table below is adapted from Appendix I of the book (pp. 138-144). Links have been added to relevant sections of this wiki, but not all languages have pages in the wiki. This table is referenced (along with several other lists from other authors) for the purposes of better understanding what are the major languages used in the various countries of Africa. Readers should refer to the original concerning any questions about what is (or is not) in the list and how the languages are categorized and named. Some comments are below, after the table (you may add yours there too, or on the comments page).


Appendix 1: Nationally and Areally Dominant Languages of Africa, by Country

Country & number of languagesNationally dominant languagesAreally dominant languages - MajorAreally dominant languages - Minor
Algeria (15)ArabicKabyleChaouia
Angola (39)-Umbundu, Kimbundu (Luanda), KikongoChokwe, Shikwanyama, Luchazi, Luvale, Nyemba, Chimbunda, Shimbwera, Nkhumbi, Lunyaneka
Benin (48)-Fon-Gbe, Hausa, Yoruba, BaribaAja-Gbe, Ayizo-Gbe, Ditammari, Fulfulde, Gen-Gbe, Gun-Gbe, Nago, Waci-Gbe
Botswana (28)SetswanaIkalangaShekgalagari, Naro
Burkina Faso (55)Mossi-MoreDyula, Fulfulde, GurmancheBissa, Bwamu, Dagara, Nuni, Lobi, Lyele, Marka, Bobo Madare, Dogon, Songhay, Kasem, Koromfe, Samo
Burundi (3)Kirundi--
Cameroon (274)-Pidgin English, Fulfulde, Ewondo (Bulu), DualaBamun, Basaa, Fefe-Bamileke, Ghomala (Banjun), Kom (Bikom), Mafa, Masana, Medumba (Gabangte), Lamnso, Tupuri, Ngiemboon, Akouse, Bafia, Bafut, Bokoto, Eton, Fang, Gbaya, Gidar, Kanuri, Kenyang, Limbum, Makaa, Mmen, Musgu, Ngwe, Ngemba, Ngomba, Yemba
Canary Islands (2)Spanish--
Cape Verde (2)Kabuverdianu--
Central African Republic (53)SangoGbaya, BandaManza, Bokoto, Fulfulde, Yakoma, Gbanu, Kaba, Kare, Mbaka Ma'bo, Pana
Chad (126)-Arabic, Sara, NgambayDazaga, Fulfulde, Gulay, Kanembu, Kanuri, Maba, Marba, Masana, Mundang, Musey, Naba, Budura, Day, Gor, Laka, Mango, Masalit, Nancere
Comoro Islands (6)Comorian (Shingazidja)-Shimaore, Shindzwani
Congo Republic (53)Monokotuba (Kikongo)LingalaKunyi, Punu, Teke, Mbosi, Lobala, Likwala
Côte d'Ivoire (58)-Anyi-Baule, Dyula, SenoufoAbe, Attie, Dan, Dida, Guro, Lobi, Mahou, Abron, Bete, Kulango, Adyukru, Soninke
DRC (209)-Lingala, Kikongo, Kiswahili, Kiluba (Luba-Katanga)Alur, Bembe, Ebuja, Chokwe, Fuliira, Kihunde, Kanyok, Kikomo, Ngbaka, Lunda (Ruund), Kisanga, Kilega, Lendu, Logo, Tetela, Mangbetu, Mbala, Kinandi, Mongo-Nkundu, Ngando, Kinyarwanda, Mashi, Taabwa (Rungu), Zande, Chibemba, Budu, Bwa, Ikela, Lugbara, Kisonge
Djibouti (4)AfarSomali-
Egypt (6)Arabic-Domari, Bedawi
Equatorial Guinea (13)Fang-Bube
Eritrea (11)-Tigrinya, Tigre?Afar, Bedawi, Kunama, Saho
Ethiopia (78)AmharicOromo, Tigrinya, SomaliAfar, Gamo-Gofa-Awro, Gedeo (Derese), Gurage, Hadiyya, Kaficho (Kafa), Kambaata, Sidamo, Wolaytta
Gabon (40)-FangMbere (Mbete), Omyene, Njembi, Punu, Teke
Gambia (9)-Mandinka (Malinke)Fulfulde, Wolof
Ghana (76)-Akan, Ewe, Dagaare, Dagbane, Ga/AdangmeAbron, Anyin, Nzema, Sehwi, Frafra, Gonja, Kasem, Konkomba, Mampruli, Kusaal (Kusale), Buli, Sisaala
Guinea (23)-Fulfulde (Futa-Jalon), Mandinka (Malinke), SusuKissi, Kpelle, Dan, Mano, Loma, Yalunka, Kuranko
Guinea-Bissau (20)CriouloBalanta, FulfuldeMandinka (Malinke), Manjaca, Papel, Mankanya
Kenya (56)KiswahiliGikuyu, Luo, Kikamba, LuyiaBukusu, Embu, Giryama, Gusii, Kalenjin, Maasai, Meru, Somali
Lesotho (2)Sesotho--
Liberia (23)-PidginDan, Kisi, Klao, Mano English, Kpelle, Bassa
Libya (7)Arabic-Nafusi, Domari
Madagascar (4)Malagasy-Bushi
Malawi (39)Chichewa (Chinyanja)Chiyao, ChitumbukaElomwe, Nyakyusa (Ngonde), Chisena, Chitonga
Mali (28)BambaraSonghay, Soninke, Senoufo, FulfuldeMalinke, Arabic, Bozo, Dogon, Tamasheq, Xasonga, Bomu
Mauritania (6)Hassaniyya (Arabic)-Fulfulde
Mauritius (6)Morisyen (Creole)BhojpariHindi
Mayotte (4)Shimaore-Bushi
Morocco (7)Arabic--
Mozambique (33)-Emakhuwa (incl. Elomwe, Chuabo)Shichopi, Makonde, Marenje, Chindau, Chinyanja, Shironga, Shisena
Namibia (26)AfrikaansOwambo, (incl. Oshindonga, Oshikwan­yama)Nama, Rukwangali, Otjiherero
Niger (13)HausaZarma (Djerma)Fulfulde, Tamajaq (Tamashek), Kanuri, Songhay
Nigeria (485)-Hausa, Yoruba, IgboAraang, Ebira, Efik, Fulfulde, Gbagyi, Isekiri, Mumunye, Ngas, Tiv, Urhobo, Ibibio, Idoma, Igala, Izon, Kanuri, Bade, Birom, Bura, (Pabir), Edo (Benin), Ekit, Esan, Gban, Gera, Goemai, Isoko, Tarok?, Igede, Ikwere, Jju, Kirike, Ogbia, Bokyi, Bole, Bacama, Bariba, Bata, Bokyi, Eggon, Gun-Gbe, Kame, Mwangavul, Huba, Nigerian Pidgin
Reunion (3)Reunion Creole--
Rwanda (3)Kinyarwanda--
São Tomé e Príncipe (4)Saotomense--
Senegal (34)WolofFulfulde, Serer-SineJola-Fogny, Malinke (Mandinka), Soninke
Seychelles (3)Seselwa--
Sierra Leone (22)Krio-Futa-Jalon (Fulfulde), Kono, Sherbro, Kuranko, Limba, Loko, Susu
South Africa (23)-IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, Afrikaans, Sesotho, SetswanaSepedi, Shitsonga, Tshivenda, Sindebele, Siswati
Sudan (121)-Arabic, DinkaBedawi, Nuer, Bari, Massalit, Otuho, Shilluk, Toposa, Fur, Hausa, Kanuri, Nobiin, Kenuzi-Dongola, Zaghawa, Zande, Ama, Anuak, Didinga, Fulfulde, Katcha-Kadugli-Miri, Luwo, Moru, Murle
Swaziland (4)Siswati--
Tanzania (124)KiswahiliShisukumaChigogo, Oruhaya, Chimakonde, Kibena, Shichagga, Giha, Kihehe, Dholuo, Maasai, Kinyamwezi, Kibena, Lugulu, Kishambala, Chitumbuka, Kinyaturu (Rimi), Ichifipa, Makhuwa, Ikinyakyusa, Chiyao
Togo (42)-Kabiye, EweAkposo, Gen-Gbe, Gourna, Waci-Gbe, Moba, Losu, Tem, Fulfulde, Ntcham (Bassai)
Tunisia (4)Arabic--
Uganda (34)-Luganda, KiswahiliAcholi, Alur, Lugbara, Ruchiga/Runyamkole, Lusoga, Rutooro/Runyoro, Lukenyi, Rukonjo, Lango, Lumasaaba, Teso
Zambia (38)-Chibemba, Chinyanja, ChitongaChikaonde, Lala-Bisa, Silozi, Ichilamba, Chilenje, Chilumba, Luvale, Mambwe­Lungu, Chinamwanga, Chinsenga, Ishinyiha, Chitumbuka
Zimbabwe (17)ChishonaSindebeleChimanyika, Chinyanja, Chikalanga, Chindau, Chitonga

Comments:

From working with this table there are several observations:

  1. Countries
    1. There was no listing for the country of Somalia
    2. Sudan has since split; many of the languages listed for it would now be under South Sudan
  2. There were at least four important languages apparently left out
    1. Tamazight in Morocco
    2. Tsonga in Mozambique
    3. Mende and Temne in Sierra Leone
  3. Some languages listed for more than one country are linked to different pages in the wiki:
    1. Senufo in Côte d'Ivoire and Mali are here linked to 2 different wiki pages
    2. Sindebele in South Africa and Zimbabwe are here linked to 2 different wiki pages
    3. Tonga in Mozambique is linked to a page different than that for Tonga in Zambia and Zimbabwe
  4. In Djibouti, Somali is probably more dominant than Afar
  5. Some minor editing was done - "Fulfude" corrected to "Fulfulde", "Ibibo" to "Ibibio"]

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