Languages of Botswana
|Languages of Botswana|
|National||Tswana, Sekalalaka, Seherero|
|Part of a series on the|
The official languages of Botswana are English and Tswana. English, which was inherited from colonial rule, is the language of official business and most written communication. Most of the population speak Tswana, but over 20 smaller languages are also spoken. Some of the country's languages are in danger of becoming extinct.
The official written language of Botswana is English. Most written communication and official business texts are written in English. The language of the Tswana people—Setswana—is the country's national language, and is spoken by most of the population.
Although there are two clear official languages, there are other languages that are spoken. Over 90% of the population speak a Bantu language as their first language. According to the CIA's World Factbook, the most common Bantu languages spoken are Setswana (77.3% of the population), Kalanga (7.4%), Kgalagadi (3.4%), Shona (2%), Mbukushu (1.6%) and Ndebele (1%). 1.7% speak Tshwa (a Khoe language) and 0.1% speak !Xóõ, a Tuu language (both non-Bantu). English is spoken by 2.8% as their first language, and a small number speak Afrikaans.
The number of individual languages listed for Botswana is 31.[who said this?] All are living languages. Of these, 26 are indigenous and 5 are non-indigenous. Furthermore, 4 are institutional, 9 are developing, 8 are vigorous, 9 are in trouble, and 1 is dying.
- Mwakikagile 2009, p. 75.
- "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
- "Botswana". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2019-07-17.
- Mwakikagile, Godfrey (2009). Botswana Since Independence. Pretoria: New Africa Press. ISBN 9-780-98025-878-3.
- Chebanne, Andy Monthusi (2008). "A Sociolinguistic Perspective of the Indigenous Communities of Botswana". African Study Monographs. Kyoto University: The Center for African Area Studies. 29 (3): 93–118. doi:10.14989/66231.
- Chabanne, Andy Monthusi (2012). "Where Are the 'Skeletons' of Dead Khoisan Languages?". Botswana Notes and Records. Botswana Society. 44: 81–92. JSTOR 43855562. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
- Ramsay, Jeff; Morton, Barry; Morton, Fred (1996). Historical dictionary of Botswana. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810831430.
- Vossen, Rainer, ed. (2013). The Khoesan Languages. Psychology Press. ISBN 9-780-70071-289-2.
- Ethnologue listing of Botswana languages (subscription required)
- A list of endangered languages in Botswana from the Endangered Languages Project (ELP)
- The Kalahari Basin area: a 'Sprachbund' on the verge of extinction, from the Kalahari Basin area project (KBA)