It is the home language of 4.6% of Indian or Asian people, and of 1.5% of black South Africans. In South Africa, multilingualism – a complex undertaking, especially in languages from very different families – is a common achievement of the poor. It makes up 12.7% of languages spoken in the Free State, 12.4% of Gauteng’s languages, 10.6% of languages in the Eastern Cape, 9% in North West, 7.2% in Mpumalanga, 2.6% in Limpopo and 1.6% in KwaZulu-Natal. In 1910 English and Dutch were declared the official languages of the new Union of South Africa. South Africa’s most recent census was in 2011. First-language users: 6,855,082 (13.5% of South Africans) A full 99.7% of first-language Sesotho sa Leboa speakers are black, 0.1% coloured, 0.1% white and 0.1% Indian or Asian. The second is that while English is the dominant first language only in the cities – Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban – it is widely used as a second language across the country. All users: 19,154,258 (estimate). Let us know in our Facebook poll.

Yusuf, along with 49 followers including two wives, two concubines and twelve children, were received in the Cape on 2 April 1694 by governor Simon van der Stel. Language is fluid, especially in South Africa. Its 3,996,951 speakers make up 8% of South Africa’s population. South Africa is the Rainbow Nation, a title that captures the country's cultural and ethnic diversity.The population of South Africa is one of the most complex and diverse in the world. Chapter 1 (Founding Provisions), Section 6 (Languages) of the Constitution of South Africa is the basis for government language policy. Bakholwa bona iSewula Afrika ingeyabo boke abahlala kiyo, sibambene ngokwahlukahlukana kwethu.

[citation needed]. Within the provinces, Sesotho sa Leboa is spoken by more than half (52.9%) the people of Limpopo, 10.6% of those in Gauteng, and 9.3% of Mpumalanga’s population. Sesotho refers to Southern Sotho, and isiNdebele refers to Southern Ndebele. It is the home language of 1.3% of Indian or Asian people, 0.5% of coloureds, 0.4% of whites and 4.1% of people who describe themselves as “other”. Of particular note is the Cape Muslim pioneering of the first Afrikaans literature, written in Arabic Afrikaans, which was an adaptation of the Jawi script, using Arabic letters to represent Afrikaans for both religious and quotidian purposes. Over a quarter (27.3%) live in KwaZulu-Natal, 23.5% in the Western Cape, and 7.4% in the Eastern Cape. In the population as a whole, siSwati is spoken by 3.2% of black South Africans, by around 0.1% of the other population groups, and by 0.5% of people who describe themselves as “other”. And so on ….

Otherwise, they would have lost. For centuries South Africa’s official languages were European – Dutch, English, Afrikaans. First-language users: 1,209,388 (2.4% of the population) Thirty are living languages, and four extinct Khoesan languages. First-language users: 3,798,915 (7.6% of the population) All users: 11,698,915 (estimate). South African Sign Language is also understood across the country especially when interpreters decode the message. Also known as: Tsonga, Shangaan, Shangana, Vatsonga In the Eastern Cape isiXhosa is spoken by 80% of the population. Do you call it Sepedi, or Sesotho sa Leboa? It is spoken as first language by approximately 61 percent of whites and 76 percent of Coloureds. Among first-language siSwati speakers, 99.3% are black, 0.3% coloured, 0.2% white and 0.1% Indian or Asian. IsiXhosa is spoken by 7.5% of people in the Free State, 6.6% in Gauteng, 5.5% in North West, and 5.3% in the Northern Cape. It is a regional language, with a third of its speakers living in the Eastern Cape, where it is the language of 83.4% of the provincial population. Please check the Creative Commons licence (identified in the image metadata or in the caption) for the terms of use of each individual image.

It is the home language of just 0.2% of Indians, 0.1% of coloureds, 0.1% of whites and 0.6% of people who describe themselves as “other”. This has resulted in the spread of an urban argot, Tsotsitaal or S'Camtho/Ringas, in large urban townships in the province, which has spread nationwide. It is considered a “gangster” language and it has been influenced by the gangster life in the urban centers. South Africa’s Constitution recognises 11 official languages: Sepedi (also known as Sesotho sa Leboa), Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.. For centuries South Africa’s official languages were European – Dutch, English, Afrikaans. It is the dominant language of KwaZulu-Natal. As a first language it is mainly confined to the cities. The most common language spoken as a first language by South Africans is Zulu (23 percent), followed by Xhosa (16 percent), and Afrikaans (14 percent). The languages you hear in South Africa depend on where you are in the country. The 1993 interim Constitution named the language Sesotho sa Leboa. The following table gives a breakdown of first-language speakers, as recorded by the census. The question in the 2011 Census was: Which two languages does (member of household) speak most often in this household?

Obviously, many people are limited to one, and many others able to speak three, four or more languages. First-language users: 8,154,258 African languages, spoken by at least 80% of the people, were ignored. The eleventh official language is English, which is the primary language used in parliamentary and state discourse, though all official languages are equal in legal status, and unofficial languages are protected under the Constitution of South Africa, though few are mentioned by any name. These are often poorer people denied an adequate education. For each of the two groups, the languages within that group are for the most part intelligible to a native speaker of any other language within that group. All users: 5,677,148 (estimate). The graphics on this page are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

South African Plants – What Kind of Plants Live in South Africa? All images copyright by Creative Commons licence.

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