Sotho-Tswana languages

The Sotho group includes several Southern African languages that are very closely related and to varying degrees mutually intelligible. Three major languages included on this wiki are:

The map at right from the Sesotho Online website shows approximate distribution of speakers of these 3 languages.

Although the languages are close they are treated as separate official languages? in South Africa and are not used interchangeably. Setswana is the predominate language in Botswana, and Sesotho is an official language in Lesotho.

Standardisation / harmonisation

South African linguist Neville Alexander and others discussed the idea of standardising Sotho languages (and also Nguni languages) in 1988.

"The first official (South African) governmental attempt at recording and standardising the language, Sesotho, in South Africa was with the publication of the Sotho Terminology and Orthography No. 1 in 1951. This like some other earlier publications focused on a combination of all the Sotho languages (thus also including Setswana and Sesotho sa Leboa/Northern Sotho). This publication was made possible by the combined Sotho language committee. But it was dissolved in 1957 due to new Apartheid legislation that promoted the separateness of 'ethnic groups' regardless of a common 'language'." (Sesotho online)

References & other links