Languages of Namibia
Namibia, despite its scarce population, is home to a wide diversity of languages, from three language families: Indo-European, Bantu and Khoisan. During apartheid Afrikaans, German and English held the position of official language; however, after independence from South Africa, Namibia's new government made English the sole official language in the constitution of Namibia. German and Afrikaans were stigmatised as having colonial overtones, while the rising of Mandela's Youth League and the 1951 Defiance Campaign spread English among the masses as the language of the liberation struggle.
The most widely spoken languages are Oshiwambo dialects, by 48% of the population, the Khoekhoe language by 11%, Afrikaans by 11%, Kwangali language by 10% and Herero by 10%. Other native languages include the Bantu languages Tswana, Gciriku, Fwe, Kuhane, Mbukushu, Yeyi; and the Khoisan Naro, ǃXóõ, Kung-Ekoka, ǂKxʼauǁʼein and Kxoe. English, the official language, is spoken by less than 1% of people as their native language. Among the white population, 60% speak Afrikaans, 32% German, 7% English, and 1% Portuguese (current figures show that they are in fact 4–5% of the total population of the country nowadays, i.e. 100,000 people).[not in citation given]
Indigenous languages are included in the school syllabus at primary level. From secondary level English is the medium of instruction. Afrikaans is the only language that comes close to a lingua franca, and is spoken by most black townspeople together with English and their native language.
- "Namibia Travel Guide". Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- Brutt-Griffler, J. (2002). World English: a study of its development. Multilingual Matters, p.165. ISBN 1853595772
- "Languages Spoken in Namibia". About Namibia. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- Lewis, M. Paul (ed.) (2009). Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. SIL International.
- Pütz, Martin (1995). Discrimination through language in Africa?: perspectives on the Namibian experience. Walter de Gruyter, p. 315. ISBN 311014817X