Languages of Benin
|Languages of Benin|
|National languages||Baatonum, [language|
|Sign languages||American Sign Language (Francophone African Sign Language)|
|Other indigenous language(s)||Gen, Kabiyé|
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Of the Beninese languages, Fon (a Gbe language) and Yoruba are the most important in the south of the country. In the north there are half a dozen regionally important languages, including Baatonum (once counted as a Gur language) and Fulfulde.
French was introduced during the colonial period and retained as the official language upon independence.
The multilingual character of Beninese society is characterized by the number of languages spoken, ethno-linguistic diversity, stratification of language use (whereby French is used officially and other languages used in other spheres of activity), and by the fact that many Beninese are polyglots.
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