Africa | languages

Languages

Map showing the traditional language families represented in Africa:
  Afroasiatic (Semitic-Hamitic)
  Austronesian (Malay-Polynesian)
Niger-Congo:
  Bantu
  Central and Eastern Sudanese
  Central Bantoid
  Eastern Bantoid
  Guinean
  Mande
  Western Bantoid
Nilo-Saharan:
  Kanuri

By most estimates, well over a thousand languages (UNESCO has estimated around two thousand) are spoken in Africa.[128] Most are of African origin, though some are of European or Asian origin. Africa is the most multilingual continent in the world, and it is not rare for individuals to fluently speak not only multiple African languages, but one or more European ones as well. There are four major language families indigenous to Africa:

Following the end of colonialism, nearly all African countries adopted official languages that originated outside the continent, although several countries also granted legal recognition to indigenous languages (such as Swahili, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa). In numerous countries, English and French (see African French) are used for communication in the public sphere such as government, commerce, education and the media. Arabic, Portuguese, Afrikaans and Spanish are examples of languages that trace their origin to outside of Africa, and that are used by millions of Africans today, both in the public and private spheres. Italian is spoken by some in former Italian colonies in Africa. German is spoken in Namibia, as it was a former German protectorate.