Languages of the Central African Republic

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Languages of the Central African Republic
Official languages French (Standard), Sango
Sign languages American Sign Language (Francophone African Sign Language)
Other minority language(s) Chadian Arabic, plus around 70 other languages
Signs in French in Bangui

The official languages of the Central African Republic are French and Sangho. In total there are about 72 languages in the country.[1]

In the CAR, French is the language of writing and formal situations. In 2005 it was estimated that 22.5% of the population could speak French.[2]

Sangho has about 350,000 native speakers. It has become the lingua franca of the country. It became a national language in 1963 and an official language (alongside French) in 1991. It is estimated that 92% of the CAR's population is able to speak Sangho. The language has become the mother tongue of almost all children in Bangui.[citation needed]

Nearly all of the native languages of the CAR belong to the Ubangian languages. There are a few Bantu languages in the extreme south, along the border with Congo-Brazzaville, and several Bongo–Bagirmi languages in the north, near the border with Chad. In addition, there is a Luo language, Runga.

Education for the deaf in CAR uses American Sign Language, introduced by the deaf American missionary Andrew Foster.

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 

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