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10 interesting facts about the African linguistic landscape you really need to kno

by  Africa Media Australia

1. There are over 2,500 languages spoken in Africa, making it the most linguistically diverse continent in the world.

2. The most widely spoken African languages are Swahili, Hausa, Yoruba, Amharic, Oromo, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Akan and Zulu.

3. Many African languages are tonal, meaning that the pitch of the voice can change the meaning of a word. For example, in Hausa, the word “baba” can mean “indigo” or “aunt” or “father’ or a ”nickname’ depending on the tone.

4. Some African languages use click consonants, which are made by creating a suction in the mouth and then releasing it. The Khoisan languages of southern Africa are particularly known for their use of clicks.

5. African languages have contributed many words to the English language, such as “safari” (Swahili), “jungle” (Bantu), “yam” (Fulani), and “banana” (Wolof).

6. Many African languages have rich oral traditions, including epic poetry, proverbs, and storytelling such as Yoruba, Hausa etc

7. The Arabic language has had a significant influence on many African languages, particularly those spoken in North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

8. The Roman alphabet is the most commonly used writing system for African languages, but other writing systems, such as the Ge’ez script used for Amharic, are also used.

9. Many African languages are endangered due to a lack of resources for language preservation and the influence of dominant languages such as English, French, and Arabic.

10. Another striking fact is that desspite their diversity, African languages share many common features, including noun classes, complex verb systems, and rich systems of tense, aspect, and mood.
And you, what else do you know about African languages ?


Source: Harouna Mahmat- Linked in

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