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How Many Official Languages Are there in South Africa?

How Many Official Languages Are there in South Africa?

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

The official languages of South Africa are English, Afrikaans, and nine indigenous African languages. The ten official languages of South Africa are also the most widely spoken after English, with approximately 42% of the population speaking one of these ten languages as their first language.

What are the 11 official languages of SA?

There are 11 constitutional recognized languages: Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, and isiZulu.

 

Does South Africa have 12 languages?

South Africa’s official languages are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tchivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, and isiZulu.

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Is South Africa the only country with 11 official languages?

No country is known to have up to 11 official languages asides from south Africa.

 

What is the most spoken language in South Africa in 2022?

In South Africa, the most common language is Zulu (23% ), followed by Xhosa (16%) and Afrikaans (14%).

 

 

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How Many Official Languages Are There In South Africa?

How Many Official Languages Are There In South Africa?

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South Africa, with a population of almost 55 million people, has three official languages: English, Afrikaans, and Afrikaans as first language or mother tongue for about 57% of the population. There are also many indigenous languages in South Africa. These languages include Setswana, Xitsonga, Siswati, SiSwati, SiNdebele and SiSotho. South Africa has set up its own constitution to ensure that all citizens have equal rights. Article 11(3) of the South African Constitution states that in order to promote the official use of any other language it is necessary to provide for that language to be used as an additional official language throughout the country. This article further stipulates that where two or more than two official languages are used at the same time in a given locality, then the local government must make provisions for each language to be used as an additional official language wherever necessary.

What is the difference between an official language and a working language?

In the context of South Africa, an official language is a language that is recognised by its government as a legitimate language to be used in administrative and public functions. The choice of official language is a political act that reflects the political culture of the country. When more than two languages are recognised as official in a country, the use of the languages is regulated by law. In this respect, it is important to recognise that the official languages of South Africa are English and Afrikaans. In practice, however, the government is currently working to promote the use of the other languages in South Africa.

List of South African Official Languages

All official languages in South Africa are set out in the South African Constitution and the Constitution of Namibia. The official languages are: Afrikaans, English, isiXhosa, isiZulu, and the third language, if a person has more than one. Afrikaans is the mother tongue of approximately 57% of the population and Afrikaans as a first language of 22%. About 8% of the population speaks isiXhosa as their mother tongue, while 13% of the population speaks isiZulu as their mother tongue and 6% speak a third language as their mother tongue. English is used as an additional official language throughout the country, and is used as a working language in the public service.

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Why is it important to know about the official languages in South Africa?

Since the end of the apartheid era in 1994, South Africa has had the opportunity to reflect on the legacies of colonialism and apartheid. With this opportunity, the government has set up forums and commissions to reflect on these issues and to promote social justice and equality for all citizens. One of these commissions, the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Review and Development of the Intergovernmental Relations System, recently recommended that the government promote the use of the other languages of South Africa in order to increase the participation of all citizens in decision-making. Therefore, more than ever before in South Africa, it is important to know about the official languages. Knowing about the official languages also gives you an opportunity to learn one of the official languages of South Africa or to expand your knowledge of another language.

How Many People Speak Which Languages?

According to the 2011 census, 57% of the population speak one of the official languages as their mother tongue. About 8% of the population speaks isiXhosa as their mother tongue, 13% of the population speaks isiZulu as their mother tongue and 6% of the population speaks a third language as their mother tongue. Besides these languages, there are many indigenous languages in South Africa. Some of these languages are spoken by a large number of people and some of these languages are not spoken anywhere outside of their own country. Among the indigenous languages, Setswana, Siswati, Siswati, SiSwati, SiNdebele and SiSotho are spoken by a large number of people in South Africa. There are many other indigenous languages in South Africa. These include, Venda, Ndebele, Northern Sotho and Southern Sotho.

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Native Languages in South Africa

As in many other countries, many people in South Africa speak more than one language. For example, a person may speak English as their mother tongue and Afrikaans as their first language. Or, a person may speak English as their mother tongue, Afrikaans as their first language and isiXhosa as their second language. In this case, a person is said to have a heterogeneous linguistic background. While it is common for people in many countries to speak more than one language, in South Africa, it is also common for people to speak a native language. A person may speak Northern Sotho or Venda as their mother tongue. These are the two largest indigenous languages spoken by native South Africans.

Bilingualism in South Africa

In some parts of South Africa, it is common for people to speak two languages. This is called bilingualism. A person who is bilingual may speak two languages as their mother tongue or they may speak one language as their mother tongue and another language as their second language. Bilingual people are found in all parts of South Africa. Generally, bilingual people are found in cities where there is a large immigrant population. For example, a person may speak English as their mother tongue and a language such as Hindi, Urdu, Chinese or Spanish as their second language. Bilingualism is common in most parts of South Africa. It is especially common in urban areas where there is an immigrant population. It is also common in some rural areas.

Summary

South Africa is a multicultural country where many people speak more than one language. The government mandates that the official languages of South Africa are Afrikaans and English. Afrikaans is the mother tongue of approximately 57% of the population and Afrikaans as a first language of 22%. About 8% of the population speaks isiXhosa as their mother tongue, 13% of the population speaks isiZulu as their mother tongue and 6% of the population speaks a third language as their mother tongue. English is used as an additional official language throughout the country, and is used as a working language in the public service. Besides these languages, there are many indigenous languages in South Africa. Some of these languages are spoken by a large number of people and some of these languages are not spoken anywhere outside of their own country. Among the indigenous languages, Setswana, Swati, Ndebele and SeSotho are spoken by a large number of people in South Africa. There are many other indigenous languages in South Africa. These include, Venda, Ndebele, Northern Sotho and Southern Sotho. Many people in South Africa speak more than one language. This is called bilingualism. A person who is bilingual may speak two languages as their mother tongue or they may speak one language as their mother tongue and another language as their second language. Bilingual people are found in all parts of South Africa. Generally, bilingual people are found in cities where there is a large immigrant population. For example, a person may speak English as their mother tongue and a language such as Hindi, Urdu, Chinese or Spanish as their second language.