THE LANGUAGES OF AFRICA

“As the crab nears the stream, it understands the language of the stream.” With over 1,000 languages, Africa is home to more languages than any other continent. Most Africans are multilingual or at least bilingual, typically speaking the language of their own ethnic group as well as one or two languages of wider communication. A person from southeast Nigeria, for example, will probably speak at least three languages: Efik (in his/her community); Igbo (the regional language); and English (the language used in schools). A Nigerian may even speak Nigerian Pidgin English, particularly if s/he conducts business in major Nigerian cities. … Continue reading (stay interested)

The Countries and Languages of Africa

However far the stream flows, it never forgets its source. – Nigeria (Yoruba) To fully explore the African continent, one would have to visit fifty-six countries, including islands and disputed and colonial territories (marked with an*): Algeria (al-JEER-ee-ah). Population: 33,333,216. Algiers or Al- Jazair means “the islands” in Arabic, referring to small islands that once dotted the bay of the city. Approximately 80 percent of Algerians speak Arabic. Other living languages spoken in Algeria include the Berber languages (Riff, Kabyle, Tamashek) and French. Angola (ahn-GOH-lah). Population: 12,263,596. Angola takes its name from the Quimbundos king, called “Ngola.” Although Umbundu, Mbundu, … Continue reading (stay interested)

K versus C

In personal written communication (or in the case of naming this site “Afrikan Names”), my spelling of Afrika with a “k” versus a “c” is intentional. Most traditional languages on the Afrikan continent spell Afrika with a “k”, as the “k” is germane to Afrika. Europeans (particularly the Portuguese and British) polutted Afrikan languages by substituting ‘C’ whenever they saw “k” or heard the “k” sound (for instance, Kongo and Congo; Akkra and Accra; Konakri and Conakry). The way Afrikan languages have been scripted the “c” is only used with “ch” in words like chakula (meaning food in Kiswahili) or … Continue reading (stay interested)