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. UNESCO defines four levels of language endangerment between "safe" (not endangered) and "extinct":[1]

  • Vulnerable
  • Definitely endangered
  • Severely endangered
  • Critically endangered

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.[2] With about 922 million people (as of 2005)[3] 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.

Algeria[edit]

Main article: Languages of Algeria
Algeria
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Judezmo language Severely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Morocco, Romania, Turkey, Serbia lad
Korandje language Severely endangered[1]   kcy
Tacenwit language Vulnerable[1]   cnu
Tagargrent language Severely endangered[1]   oua
Tamahaq language Vulnerable[1]   thv
Tamazight language Critically endangered[1] (Arzew)   rif
Tamzabit language Vulnerable[1]   mzb
Tasnusit language Severely endangered[1]    
Tayurayt language Vulnerable[1]    
Taznatit language Severely endangered[1]   grr
Tidikelt language Critically endangered[1]   tia
Touggourt Tamazight language Severely endangered[1]   tjo
Zenatiya language Critically endangered[1]    

Angola[edit]

Main article: Languages of Angola
Angola
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Bolo language Definitely endangered[1]   blv

Benin[edit]

Main article: Languages of Benin
Benin
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Tchumbuli language Critically endangered[1]   bga

Botswana[edit]

Main article: Languages of Botswana
Botswana
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Danisi language Critically endangered[1]   shg
Kua language Definitely endangered[1]   tyu
Taa language Definitely endangered[1]   nmn
Ts'èxa language Definitely endangered[1]    
Yeyi language Definitely endangered[1]   yey
Gui language Vulnerable[1]   gwj
Xaise language Critically endangered[1]   shg
ǁAni language Definitely endangered[1]   hnh
ǁGana language Vulnerable[1]   gnk
ǂHoa language Critically endangered[1]   huc

Burkina Faso[edit]

Burkina Faso
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Pana language Definitely endangered[1]   png

Cameroon[edit]

Main article: Languages of Cameroon
Cameroon
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Akum language Critically endangered[1] Also spoken in: Nigeria aku
Bakole language Critically endangered[1]   kme
Baldemu language Critically endangered[1]   bdn
Bati language Severely endangered[1]   btc
Beezen language Severely endangered[1]   bnz
Bikya language Critically endangered[1]   byb
Bishuo language Critically endangered[1]   bwh
Bubia language Severely endangered[1]   bbx
Bung language Critically endangered[1]   bqd
Busuu language Critically endangered[1]   bju
Cambap language Critically endangered[1]   twn
Dimbong language Critically endangered[1]   dii
Eman language Severely endangered[1]   emn
Gyele language Definitely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Equatorial Guinea gyi
Hijuk language Critically endangered[1]   hij
Hya language Severely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Nigeria hya
Isu language Severely endangered[1]   szv
Iyive language Severely endangered[1]   uiv
Kendem language Severely endangered[1]   kvm
Kuk language Definitely endangered[1]   kfm
Kung language Severely endangered[1]   kfl
Langa language Severely endangered[1]    
Majera language Critically endangered[1]   xmj
Maslam language Severely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Chad msv
Mono language (Cameroon) Critically endangered[1]   mnr
Ndai language Critically endangered[1]   gke
Njerep language Critically endangered[1]    
Nubaca language Severely endangered[1]   baf
Somyev language Critically endangered[1] Also spoken in: Nigeria kgt
Tuotomb language Severely endangered[1]   ttf
Yasa language Definitely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Equatorial Guinea yko
Zumaya language Critically endangered[1]   zuy

Central African Republic[edit]

Central African Republic
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Birri language Critically endangered[1]   bvq
Geme language Critically endangered[1]   geq
Ngombe language Definitely endangered[1]   nmj
Ukhwejo language Severely endangered[1]   ukh
Yulu language Vulnerable[1] Also spoken in: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan yul

Chad[edit]

Main article: Languages of Chad
Chad
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Besme language Severely endangered[1]   bes
Boor language Critically endangered[1]   bvf
Fania language Severely endangered[1]   fni
Fongoro language Severely endangered[1]   fgr
Gadang language Definitely endangered[1]   gdk
Goundo language Critically endangered[1]   goy
Jaya language Severely endangered[1]   jyy
Jonkor Bourmataguil language Severely endangered[1]   jeu
Karang language Vulnerable[1]   kth
Kendeje language Definitely endangered[1]   klf
Koke language Severely endangered[1]   kou
Kujarge language Definitely endangered[1]   vkj
Kulfa language Definitely endangered[1]   kxj
Laal language Critically endangered[1]   gdm
Mabiri language Critically endangered[1]   muj
Mambai language Severely endangered[1]   mcs
Maslam language Severely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Cameroon msv
Massalat language Critically endangered[1]   mdg
Mbara language Severely endangered[1]   mpk
Miltu language Critically endangered[1]   mlj
Noy language Critically endangered[1]   noy
Saba language Definitely endangered[1]   saa
Sarwa language Definitely endangered[1]   swy
Tamki language Critically endangered[1]   tax
Toram language Severely endangered[1]   trj
Ubi language Severely endangered[1]   ubi
Zirenkel language Definitely endangered[1]   zrn

Democratic Republic of the Congo[edit]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Beeke language Severely endangered[1]   bkf
Boguru language Critically endangered[1] Also spoken in: Sudan bqu
Kari language Severely endangered[1]   kbj
Ngbinda language Critically endangered[1]   nbd
Yulu language Vulnerable[1] Also spoken in: Central African Republic, Sudan yul

Egypt[edit]

Main article: Languages of Egypt
Egypt
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Domari language Severely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria rmt
Siwi language Definitely endangered[1]   siz

Equatorial Guinea[edit]

Equatorial Guinea
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Benga language Definitely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Gabon bng
Gyele language Definitely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Cameroon gyi
Yasa language Definitely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Cameroon yko

Eritrea[edit]

Main article: Languages of Eritrea
Eritrea
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Dahaalik language Critically endangered[1]    

Ethiopia[edit]

Main article: Languages of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
'Ongota language Critically endangered[1]   bxe
Anfillo language Critically endangered[1]   myo
Arbore language Definitely endangered[1]   arv
Argobba language Critically endangered[1]   agj
Bambassi language Definitely endangered[1]   myf
Bayso language Definitely endangered[1]   bsw
Bussa language Vulnerable[1]   dox
Chara language Vulnerable[1]   cra
Dimme language Vulnerable[1]   dim
Gats'ama - Ganjule - Harro language Definitely endangered[1]   kcx
Hozo language Definitely endangered[1]   hoz
K'emant language Severely endangered[1]   ahg
Karo language Critically endangered[1]   kxh
Komo language Definitely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Sudan xom
Kwama language Vulnerable[1]   kmq
Kwegu language Critically endangered[1]   xwg
Mursi language Vulnerable[1]   muz
Nayi language Vulnerable[1]   noz
Opuuo language Critically endangered[1]   lgn
Oyda language Vulnerable[1]   oyd
Shabo language Severely endangered[1]   sbf
Ts'amay language Definitely endangered[1]   tsb
Yem language Vulnerable[1]   jnj
Zay language Severely endangered[1]   zwa

Gabon[edit]

Main article: Languages of Gabon
Gabon
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Benga language Definitely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Equatorial Guinea bng
Bwisi language Definitely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Congo bwz
Kaande language Severely endangered[1]   kbs
Mahongwe language Severely endangered[1]   mhb
Sake language Severely endangered[1]   sak
Sighu language Severely endangered[1]   sxe
Tchitchege language Definitely endangered[1]   tck
Vumbu language Definitely endangered[1]   vum

Ghana[edit]

Main article: Languages of Ghana
Ghana
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Animere language Critically endangered[1]   anf
Kamara language Definitely endangered[1]   jmr
Konni language Vulnerable[1]   kma
Tafi language Vulnerable[1]   tcd
Tuwuli language Vulnerable[1]   bov

Guinea[edit]

Main article: Languages of Guinea
Guinea
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Badiaranke language Severely endangered[1]   pbp
Baga Manduri language Definitely endangered[1]   bmb
Baga Mboteni language Critically endangered[1]   bgm
Baga Sitemu language Severely endangered[1]   bsp
Mani language Critically endangered[1] Also spoken in: Sierra Leone buy
Nalu language Definitely endangered[1]   naj
Pukur language Definitely endangered[1]   bcg

Guinea-Bissau[edit]

Guinea-Bissau
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Cobiana language Critically endangered[1] Also spoken in: Senegal kcj
Ediamat language Vulnerable[1]   eja
Kasanga language Critically endangered[1]   ccj

Kenya[edit]

Main article: Languages of Kenya
Kenya
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Bong'om language Definitely endangered[1]   spy
Boni language Definitely endangered[1]   bob
Burji language Vulnerable[1]   bji
Dahalo language Severely endangered[1]   dal
Omotik language Critically endangered[1]   omt
Ongamo language Critically endangered[1]   nsg
Suba language Vulnerable[1] Also spoken in: Tanzania sxb, ssc

Lesotho[edit]

Main article: Languages of Lesotho
Lesotho
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Phuthi language Definitely endangered[1]   ssw

Libya[edit]

Main article: Languages of Libya
Libya
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Awjila language Severely endangered[1]   auj
Domari language Severely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria rmt
Ghadames language Vulnerable[1]   gha
Nafusi language Severely endangered[1]   jbn
Sawkna language Critically endangered[1]   swn
Tamahaq language Definitely endangered[1]   thv

Mali[edit]

Main article: Languages of Mali
Mali
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Banka language Definitely endangered[1]   bxw
Tamaceq language Definitely endangered[1]   taq

Mauritania[edit]

Mauritania
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Imeraguen language Definitely endangered[1]   ime
Nemadi language Critically endangered[1]    
Zenaga language Severely endangered[1]   zen

Morocco[edit]

Main article: Languages of Morocco
Morocco
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Figuig language Vulnerable[1]    
Ghomara language Critically endangered[1]   gho
Judezmo language Severely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, Serbia lad
Moroccan Judeo-Arabic language Severely endangered[1]   aju
Sanhaja of Srair language Critically endangered[1]   sjs
Tamazight language Definitely endangered[1] (Beni Iznassen)   rif

Namibia[edit]

Main article: Languages of Namibia
Namibia
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Khwe language Definitely endangered[1]   xuu

Niger[edit]

Main article: Languages of Niger
Niger
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Tamajeq language Vulnerable[1]   thz
Tetserret language Severely endangered[1]    

Nigeria[edit]

Main article: Languages of Nigeria
Nigeria
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Akum language Critically endangered[1] Also spoken in: Cameroon aku
Bade language Vulnerable[1]   bde
Bakpinka language Critically endangered[1]   bbs
Defaka language Critically endangered[1]   afn
Duguza language Definitely endangered[1]   dza
Dulbu language Critically endangered[1]   dbo
Fyem language Severely endangered[1]   pym
Geji cluster Severely endangered[1]   gji
Gera language Vulnerable[1]   gew
Gura language Severely endangered[1]   gvm
Gurdu-Mbaaru language Severely endangered[1]   grd
Gyem language Critically endangered[1]   gye
Hya language Severely endangered[1] Also spoken in: Cameroon hya
Ilue language Critically endangered[1]   ilv
Jilbe language Critically endangered[1]   jie
Kiong language Critically endangered[1]   kkm
Kona language Severely endangered[1]   juo
Kudu-Camo language Critically endangered[1]   kov
Luri language Critically endangered[1]   ldd
Mvanip language Critically endangered[1]   mcj
Ndunda language Severely endangered[1]   nuh
Ngwaba language Severely endangered[1]   ngw
Polci cluster Definitely endangered[1]   plj
Reshe language Vulnerable[1]   res
Sambe language Critically endangered[1]    
Somyev language Critically endangered[1] Also spoken in: Cameroon kgt
Yangkam language Critically endangered[1]   bsx

Senegal[edit]

Main article: Languages of Senegal
Senegal
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Bainouk-Gunyaamolo language Vulnerable[1]   bcz
Bainouk-Samik language Severely endangered[1]   bcb
Bandial language Vulnerable[1]   bqj
Bassari language Vulnerable[1]   bsc
Bayot language Vulnerable[1]   bda
Cobiana language Critically endangered[1] Also spoken in: Guinea-Bissau kcj
Gusilay language Vulnerable[1]   gsl
Jola-Kassa language Vulnerable[1]   csk
Karone language Vulnerable[1]   krx
Kwatay language Severely endangered[1]   cwt
Mancagne language Vulnerable[1]   knf
Menik language Definitely endangered[1]   tnr
Mlomp language Critically endangered[1]   mlo
Noon language Vulnerable[1]   snf
Paloor language Vulnerable[1]   fap

Sierra Leone[edit]

Sierra Leone
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Bom language Severely endangered[1]   bmf
Kim language Critically endangered[1]   krm
Mani language Critically endangered[1] Also spoken in: Guinea buy

South Africa[edit]

South Africa
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Korana language Critically endangered[1]   kqz
Nǀuu language Critically endangered[1]   ngh
Xiri language Critically endangered[1]   xii

Sudan[edit]

Tanzania[edit]

Main article: Languages of Tanzania
Tanzania
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Akie language Critically endangered[1]   oki
Burunge language Vulnerable[1]   bds
Dhaiso language Definitely endangered[1]   dhs
Gweno language Critically endangered[1]   gwe
Hadza language Vulnerable[1]   hts
Kami language Severely endangered[1]   kcu
Segeju language Severely endangered[1]   seg
Suba language Vulnerable[1] Also spoken in: Kenya sxb, ssc
Vidunda language Vulnerable[1]   vid
Zaramo language Definitely endangered[1]   zaj

Tunisia[edit]

Main article: Languages of Tunisia
Tunisia
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Tamazight language Severely endangered[1]   rif
Tunisian Judeo-Arabic language Critically endangered[1]   ajt

Uganda[edit]

Main article: Languages of Uganda
Uganda
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Amba language Vulnerable[1]   rwm
Ik language Severely endangered[1]   ikx
Soo language Critically endangered[1]   teu

Western Sahara[edit]

Western Sahara
Language Status Comments ISO 639-3
Zenaga language Critically endangered[1]   zen

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et eu ev ew ex ey ez fa fb fc fd fe ff fg fh fi fj fk fl fm fn fo fp fq fr fs ft fu fv fw fx fy fz ga gb gc gd ge gf gg gh gi gj gk gl gm gn go gp gq gr gs gt gu gv gw gx gy gz ha hb hc hd he hf hg hh hi hj hk hl hm hn ho hp hq hr hs ht hu hv hw hx hy hz ia ib ic id ie if ig Moseley, Christopher, ed. (2010). Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Memory of Peoples (3rd ed.). Paris: UNESCO Publishing. ISBN 978-92-3-104096-2. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  2. ^ Sayre, April Pulley. (1999) Africa, Twenty-First Century Books. ISBN 0-7613-1367-2.
  3. ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision" United Nations (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, population division)