List of endangered languages in Africa

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An endangered language is a language that it is at risk of falling out of use, generally because it has few surviving speakers. If it loses all of its native speakers, it becomes an extinct language.

Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area.[1] With about 922 million people (as of 2005)[2] in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.2% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. There are 53 countries, including Madagascar and all the island groups.

Botswana[edit]

Botswana
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
ǂHõã language 200
Tsoa language Also: Sarwa language Red Book of Endangered Languages

Cameroon[edit]

Cameroon
Language Comments Speakers Source
Baldemu language North Cameroon. Shifting to Fulfulde. 3 to 6 (2003 SIL)
Bikya language Speaker is a man in his seventies. 1 (1986 R Breton)
Bishuo language 1 (1986 R Breton)
Bung language 3 (1995 Connell)
Busuu language 8 (1986 Breton)
Dama language 50
Luo Language 1
Ndai language 5
Ngong language 2 (1983 Atlas Linguistique du Cameroun)
Oblo language
Pam language 30 (2003 SIL)
Twendi language 30 (2000 Connell)
Zumaya language 25 (1987 SIL)
Bassa language 230,000 (1987 SIL)

Central African Republic[edit]

Central African Republic
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Bodo Language 15 (1996)

Chad[edit]

Chad
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Berakou language 2 (1995 Djarangar).
Buso language 40 (1971 Welmers).
Goundo language 30 (1998).
Mabire language 3 (2001 SIL).
Massalat language 10 (1991 R Blench)
Noy language 36 (1993 census).

Ethiopia[edit]

Ethiopia
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Anfillo language 500
Birale language 19 (2000 M Brenzinger)
Shabo language 400-500 Red Book of Endangered Languages

Ghana[edit]

Ghana
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Animere language about 250

Guinea[edit]

Guinea
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Baga Koga language
Baga Mboteni language

Kenya[edit]

Kenya
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
El Molo language Also: Elmolo language, Fura-Pawa language, Ldes language, Dehes language 8 (1994 Larsen) 400 (2000 M Brenzinger).
Ogiek language Also: Akie language; Kinare language, Okiek language Red Book of Endangered Languages
Omotik language 50 (1980)
Yaaku language 50 (1983)
Suba language 100,000 (1992) [1]

Mauritania[edit]

Mauritania
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Zenaga language  

Namibia[edit]

Namibia
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
!Kung language Also spoken in Angola. Alternate names: Kung-Ekoka language; Ekoka-!Xû language; Kung language; !Xu language; !Ku language; !Xu language; !Hu language; Qxü language; !Xun language; !Khung language; !Xung language; 1,000 in Namibia Red Book of Endangered Languages
Namibian Black German German Pidgen spoken by Africans loyal to the German colonies. Only several. Nearly Extinct. Red Book of Endangered Languages

Nigeria[edit]

Nigeria
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Bassa-Kontagora language 10 (1987)
Bete language 50 (1992)
Fali of Baissa language
Defaka language
Kiong language 100 (2004)
Kudu-Camo language 42 (1990 Michael Bross)
Labir language
Lere language
Lufu language
Luri language (Nigeria) 30 (1973 SIL)
Njerep language 6 (2000 B Connell)
Odut language 20 (1980s, from Blench 2000)
Putai language 50
Shau language
Somyev language 15 to 20 (2000 Connell)
Vono language Also: Kiballo language, Kiwollo language Red Book of Endangered Languages
Ziriya language

Senegal[edit]

Senegal
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Karon language Also spoken in Gambia. Over 10,000 Red Book of Endangered Languages

Sierra Leone[edit]

Sierra Leone
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Bom language  
Bullom So language Also spoken in Guinea  

Somalia[edit]

Somalia
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Boon language 59 (2000 WCD)

South Africa[edit]

South Africa
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Nǁng language 10 (2003 Crawhall); 500 (1998 Nigel Crawhall, South African San Institute).
Tsotsitaal language
Xiri language 87 (2000 WCD)

Tanzania[edit]

Tanzania
Language Comments No. Speakers Source
Gweno language Few (2000 M Brenzinger) 2,000 or more.
Ongamo language Also: Ngasa language Red Book of Endangered Languages

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sayre, April Pulley. (1999) Africa, Twenty-First Century Books. ISBN 0-7613-1367-2.
  2. ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision" United Nations (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, population division)