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How Many Official Languages Are Actually Spoken in South Africa?

How Many Official Languages Are Actually Spoken in South Africa?

What Is The Biggest Province In South Africa?
What Is The Biggest Province In South Africa?

Sepedi (also known as Sesotho sa Leboa), Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, and isiZulu are among the eleven trustworthy languages recognized by the South African Constitution. The official languages of South Africa for centuries have been European –

English, Afrikaans, and Dutch. At least 80% of the population speaks African languages, yet they were disregarded. All native languages in South Africa were given solid protection under the country’s new constitution in 1996. There are roughly 34 historically rooted languages in South Africa. There are four extinct Khoesan languages and thirty surviving ones.


The majority language in South Africa is siZulu, which is spoken by over a quarter (23%) of the population. Our other recognized languages are Xitsonga (4.5%), siSwati (2.5%), Tshivenda (2.5%), Afrikaans (13.5%), English (10%), Sesotho sa Leboa (9%), Setswana (8%) and Sesotho (8%) as well as isiXhosa (spoken by 16%), Afrikaans (13.5%), English (2%), and isiNdebele (2%).

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English is a common city language that is utilized in commerce, government, and the media. 33 percent of the 4.9 million South Africans who speak English as their primary language are white, 24 percent are black, 22 percent are Indian, and 19 percent are of other races. English is widely used in communication and as a second language, mostly in urban areas.

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An early form of Dutch called Afrikaans developed from a South Holland dialect that was transferred to this country in the 1600s. It has absorbed various influences from African languages throughout the past, as well as from European colonial languages, including English, French, and German. The majority (50.2%) of Afrikaans speakers are colored, followed by white (40%), black (9%), and Indian (1%).

Division of Languages

They are tonal languages, like all Niger-Congo languages, giving a sentence a certain meaning depending on how high or low the tone is. Two main groups make up the nine African languages:

Xitsonga, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, siSwati, and other Nguni-Tsonga languages. Sesotho, Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, and Tshivenda are Sotho-Makua-Venda languages. I belong to the Tswa-Ronga subfamily within the first group, whereas isiZulu, isiXhosa, isNdebele, and siSwati are Nguni languages.

Similar to how Sesotho, Sesotho sa Leboa, and Setswana are related to Sotho languages, Tshivenda is a member of the Sotho-Makua-Venda subfamily but stands somewhat independently.

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