Languages of Mozambique
Mozambique is a multilingual country. A number of Bantu languages are indigenous to Mozambique. Portuguese, inherited from the colonial period (see: Portuguese Mozambique), is the official language, and Mozambique is a full member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Ethnologue lists 43 languages spoken in the country. According to INE – Mozambique's National Institute for Statistics – Portuguese is the most widely spoken language in Mozambique: According to the 2007 national population and housing census, 50.4% of the national population aged 5 and older (80.8% of people living in urban areas and 36.3% in rural areas) are fluent in the language. Other widely spoken languages include Swahili, Makhuwa, Sena, Ndau, and Shangaan (Tsonga). Other indigenous languages of Mozambique include Lomwe, Makonde, Chopi, Chuwabu, Ronga, Kimwani, Zulu, and Tswa. The language of the deaf community is Mozambican Sign Language.
Small communities of Arabs, Chinese, and Indians speak their own languages (Indians from Portuguese India speak any of the Portuguese Creoles of their origin) aside from Portuguese as their second language.
Most Mozambicans speak more than one language.. According to the 2007 census about 50.4% of all people aged 5 and older speak Portuguese, and 10.7%, including people of Portuguese ancestry and mestiços, speak it as their first language.
Influence among languages
Many indigenous languages of Mozambique have loan words of Portuguese origin.
Largest language groups
|Language||Number of speakers (L1)||Percentage of population|
Notes and references
- Inquérito Nacional aos Agregados Familiares sobre Condições de Vida, Resultados Gerais, Instituto Nacional de Estatística, Maputo, 1998.
- Ethnologue Listing of Mozambican Languages
- Línguas de Moçambique(Portuguese) – A Portuguese-language collection of publications in Mozambican languages. (A Google Translate Gadget is available)
- Tindzimi ta Mozambique (Language and Language Policy in Mozambique)
- PanAfrican L10n page on Mozambique
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