The 10 Most Spoken Languages in Africa [Updated]

Do you care to know the most spoken languages in Africa? African linguistic diversity is impressive. In its 54 countries, 2092 languages ​​are found. This is equivalent to 30% of the languages ​​spoken worldwide.

Another fact to be highlighted is that, in addition to the 2,000 languages ​​spoken in Africa, there are also about 8,000 dialects!

Africa is also the second-largest and most populous continent in the world. Learn more about this fascinating continent, the most popular languages ​​, and its culture. In this post, we talk more about the subject. Check out!

The 10 Most Spoken Languages in Africa [Updated]

African Culture

Due to its great idiomatic variety, the experience in Africa allows exploring many ways to see the world. Therefore, living with a difference is always enriching for visitors.

The nearly 2100 languages ​​spoken in Africa in the 54 countries of the continent also have a European influence. There are 27 countries that have official languages ​​originating in Europe. In addition, 18 have at least one European language among the main ones.

This cultural diversity occurs due to the migratory flow coming from colonization. Africa was the continent most influenced by the interference of the colonizers. Thus, the continent ends up being multicultural.

This wide range of cultures makes African countries charming by their multiplicity. They have enormous cultural wealth and a great linguistic abundance.

3 Great Advantages of Doing an Exchange in Africa

Being a polyglot continent, it presents several chances to live with different people. Not only for the language but also for their behaviors and lifestyle. Among the great advantages of knowing Africa are:

  • Be able to live with a wide variety of languages;
  • Be immersed in different multicultural;
  • Visit places of unparalleled beauty.

With the ethnic mix presented by Africa, the question may arise as to which part of this immense continent to visit. A great indication is to know South Africa, a country that was once the host of the World Cup, and Nigeria the most populous country in Africa and the richest in crude oil.

Having said that, let us quickly dive into the subject of today which is the top 10 most spoken languages in Africa.

List of Most Spoken Languages In Africa

1. Arabic

The Arabic language is very common in the northern part of Africa, as we all know Islam has a very high number of believers in Africa and this has helped to make Arabic an acceptable language among African countries.

The Arabic language is spoken by over 160 million people in Africa making it the most spoken language in Africa and mostly spoken in Egypt, Djibouti, Algeria, Chad, Comoros, Morocco, Lybia, and Mauritania.

2. Swahili

Swahili is also one of the most spoken languages in Africa, originated from South Africa, and most spoken by Southern Africans and East and Central African countries.

Also known as Kiswahili, the language is spoken by more than 150 million people, it is a common language in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Congo.

In Tanzania, Swahili is used for education and is also a normal communication medium among them.

3. English

Of course, English must be part of the top 10 most spoken languages in Africa mainly because of the activities of the British colonials in the continent.

This is the language the British colonial masters used to communicate and this has, in turn, made Africans leave their mother tongue language and make English the official language.

The countries that are colonized by the British are called Anglophone countries and those countries are Ghana, Cameroon, Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Liberia, Kenya, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Seychelles, Namibia, Mauritius, and Saint Helena.

The English language is mostly used in cities or urban settings but most non-urban use their secondary languages which they are native to.

4. French

French is also one of the most spoken languages in Africa and is widely embraced by some African countries this was also because of colonization by the French colonial masters.

The countries that embrace French as their official language are known as the Francophone countries and they are Seychelles, Senegal, Reunion, Togo, Guinea, Congo, Chad, Benin Republic, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Cameroon.

5. Hausa

The Hausa language originated from the Hausa tribe which is the largest ethnic group in Nigeria also in Africa.

The language is mostly spoken in West African countries like Nigeria, Togo, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Benin, and also East African countries like Sudan, Eritrea, and Congo.

6. Amharic

Amharic is a language that originated from Ethiopia, it is a Semitic language by the Ethiopians and classified under the Afroasiatic languages.

The language is spoken by the Amharas and has been absorbed as the official language of most of the states in Ethiopia.

The language is a broad one and is being studied in their educational system, the language has its own alphabets and poetry/literature, novels, journals, etc.

8. Oromo

Another language that originated from Ethiopia is the Oromo language, Oromo is a tribe in Ethiopia and one of the largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia accounting for over 40% of the Ethiopians.

9. Igbo

The Igbo language is also one of the most spoken languages in Africa, originating from the Eastern region of Nigeria.

We have over 44 million people that speak the Igbo language in Africa and is one of the most spoken languages in Nigeria and Africa.

The language is spoken in some other African countries like the Benin Republic and other West African countries though not at a large volume.

Read Also: 5 Richest Kings In Africa and Their Net Worth

10. Yoruba

The Yoruba language originated from Nigeria from the Yoruba tribe which is located in the South-West region of Nigeria.

The ethnic group Yorubas are originated from Ile-Ife and the language is well studied by elites and is one of the most spoken languages in Western African countries like Benin Republic, Sierra Leone, Liberia even in Brazil’s Bahia state.

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