We Work With

African Languages

We are excited to offer language services in more than eighty different African languages. Look below to see our most requested language, or get it touch and discuss the language you need.

About African Languages

The Continent of Languages

The continent of Africa has the largest number of languages in the world. It is estimated that there are between 1000 and 2000 African languages in total. In the country of Nigeria alone there are 500 different languages spoken every day and in Africa there are 75 languages with over a million speakers. 

Language Groups

Afroasiatic Languages

The Afroasiatic languages are spoken in North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel. There are an estimated number of 375 Afroasiatic language including Somali, Oromo, Berber, Hausa, Amharic, and Arabic. The Afroasiatic language family is one of the oldest in the world, currently spoken by over 400 million people.  

Oromo

Somali

Saho

Amharic

Arabic

Language Groups

Nilo-Saharan Languages

The Nilo-Saharan languages can be found across Central Africa and East Africa, around the Nile Basin and Central Sahara Desert. This family includes hundreds of languages spoken by at least 50 million people. The languages Luo and Kanuri are the two most widely spoken languages, each with more than 4 million speakers. 

Zaghawa

Language Groups

Khoisan Languages

The Khoisan language families is actually a group of smaller families, which do not belong to other African language families. These all share the click consonants and are located primarily around the Kalahari Desert and in Tanzania.

The Khoisan languages include families such as the Khoe languages, the Tuu languages and the Kx’a languages. There are 30 Khoisan languages which are spoken by 300,000 people. 

About African Languages

Common African Languages

The most common languages spoken in Africa include Hausa, Amharic, Yoruba, Oromo, Igbo, Zulu, Shona, Arabic, Portuguese, English, French and Swahili. With 15 million native speakers and 100 million total speakers, Swahili is the most widely spoken African language.

Niger-Congo Languages

Niger-Congo Languages

The Niger-Congo languages are spoken over the majority of sub-Saharan Africa. Geographically it covers the largest area of Africa and has the third largest number of speakers, in Africa. This language family includes the Mande languages, the Atlantic-Congo languages, and several smaller language families.

Igbo

Ewe

Fula

Niger-Congo Languages

Bantu Languages

The Bantu languages include 250 and 680 different languages, depending on the separation between language and dialect. It has one of the largest number of speakers for any language family, with 350 million speakers. This is approximately 30% of the total population of Africa.

The Bantu languages are a part of the Benue-Congo language family, within the Atlantic-Congo family. They are the most widespread family within the Niger-Congo family, distributed across Central Africa, Southeast Africa, and Southern Africa.

Lingala

Zulu

Setswana

Swahili

Chichewa

Bravanese

Language Groups

And More...

There are many other language families in Africa. The largest is the Austronesian languages found on the island of Madagascar, including the language Malagsy, which alone has more than 20 million speakers.

There are also many other small language families in Africa include Ubangian which contain 70 languages.  The Indo-European language Afrikaans is also spoken by at least 15 million people and are a large amount of creole languages in Africa, where multilingualism has caused languages to blend.

African Languages

Working With African Languages

Translating African languages is a difficult but worthwhile endeavour. Some African languages use an incredibly colloquial manner of speak, making it important to use translators who understand the concepts behind the idioms. 

African languages are numerous and include as many as 8000 different dialects, but we are experience at handling obscure languages. We often work with extremely rare languages, including Zaghawa and Saho, which each have less than 270,000 speakers. We also work with uncommon dialects such as the Bravanese dialect (Chimwiini) of Swahili, which has only 183,000 native speakers.