Ethnologue: Areas: Africa

Botswana

1,528,000 (1995). Republic of Botswana. Formerly Bechuanaland. 220,000 sq. miles. Capital: Gaborone. Literacy rate 54% to 71%. Also includes Lozi 14,000, Ndebele [NDF] 17,000, Northern Sotho 11,000, Tonga [TOI] 3,000 to 6,000. Information mainly from Sue Hasselbring 1995. Data accuracy estimate: B, C. Literacy rate 54 to 71. Also includes Lozi 14,000, Ndebele [NDF] 17,000, Northern Sotho 11,000, Tonga [TOI] 3,000 to 6,000. Christian, traditional religion, Baha'i. Blind population 10,000. The number of languages listed for Botswana is 30.

AFRIKAANS [AFK] 20,000 in Botswana (1995 LBT); 6,365,000 in all countries or more. Along the South African border, southwest of Lobatse and Ghanzi. Also in South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia. Indo-European, Germanic, West, Continental, Low, Dutch. Spoken as mother tongue by all the Boers and some Africans of Bantu descent. Bible 1933-1983. NT 1941-1980. Bible portions 1893-1907.

BIRWA [BRL] 10,000 (1993 Johnstone). East central around Selebi, Phikwe, and Bobonong, on the South African border. East of Kalanga, northeast of Tswapong. Also in South Africa. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Shona (S.10). The population reported is for 'Shona' in Botswana. Survey needed.

BUKA-KHWE (BOGA, BUGA, BUKA, BUGAKHWE, BOGAKHWE, RIVER BUSHMAN) [BUZ] 9,000. Khwai River, Mababe. Near the Handa and the Xun. Possibly also in Angola. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northwest. Dialects: BUKA-KHWE, GUMAHI, MOHISA. Dialects listed are probably separate languages (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Traditional religion. Survey needed.

DETI-KHWE (DETI, TETE, TETI, TLETLE) [DET] Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Central. Dialects: K'ERE-KHWE, TSH'EREKHWE. Related to Shua. Reported to be endangered. Survey needed.

ENGLISH [ENG] 322,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Indo-European, Germanic, West, North Sea, English. National language. Bible 1535-1989. NT 1525-1985. Bible portions 1530-1987.

GABAKE-NTSHORI (G//ABAKE, G//ABAKE-NTSHORI, G//ABAKETSHORI, HIECHWARE, CHUWARE, MASARWA, TATI, TATI BUSHMAN) [GZZ] (8,000 to 30,000 in the combined ethnic groups of Gabake-Ntshori, Kwe-Etshori, Hiotshuwau, Hiechware). Motsetse region. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northeast. Co-dialect with Kwe-Etshori. Tati is reported to be endangered. Survey needed.

GANÁDE (GANADI) [GNE] Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, North Central. Related to Shua. Survey needed.

GANA-KHWE (G//ANA, G//ANA-KHWE, GXANA, GXANNA, KANAKHOE) [GNK] 3,000 together with G/wi-khwe (1995 LBT). Ghanzi and Central districts, east of G//wi-Khwe, west of Naro. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northwest. Dialects: DOMKHOE, G//AAKHWE (G//AA), G//ANAKHWE (KANAKHOE), /KHESSÁKHOE. May be inherently intelligible with G//wi-Khwe. Dialects listed are probably separate languages. Survey needed.

GANI-KHWE (G//ANIKHWE, KANI-KHOE, TANNEKWE) [GNX] Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Southwest. May be the same as Gana-Khwe. May be inherently intelligible with Gwi-Khwe. Traditional religion, Christian. Survey needed.

GWI-KHWE (G//WIKHWE, G//WI, G/WI, GCWI, G!WIKWE, G/WIKHWE) [GWJ] (3,000 in 1995; together with G//ana-Khwe). Ghanzi District, northeast of the !Xoo, west of G//ana-Khwe. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Southwest. Dialect: KHUTE. May be inherently intelligible with G//ana-Khwe. Survey needed.

HANDÁ (//ANI, HANDÁDAM, HANDÁKWE-DAM, HANDA-KHWE, TS'IXA, TS'EXA) [HNH] 3,000 (1995 LBT). Northwest District, Khwai River, Mababe. Near the Buka Khwe and the Xun. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northwest. Related to Buka. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

HERERO (OCHIHERERO, DAMARA) [HER] 18,000 in Botswana (1993 Johnstone); 141,000 in Namibia (1993 Johnstone); 159,000 in all countries. Around the Okavango, scattered among the Yeye and Mbukushu. They mainly have their own villages or areas within larger towns, Northwest and Ghanzi Districts. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Herero (R.30). Dialect: MBANDIERU. Erroneously called 'Damara'. They are mainly refugees from Namibia. Older speakers are returning to Namibia, younger ones staying in Botswana. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible 1987. NT 1878-1912. Bible portions 1875-1912.

HIECHWARE (CHWARE, TSHWA, CUA, TYUA, SARWA, SESARWA, HAITSHUARI) [HIE] 3,000 in Botswana (1976 P. Johnstone); 1,600 in Zimbabwe (1972 Barrett); 4,600 in all countries. Northeast, west and south of Francistown. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northeast. Nomadic. Hiechware, Kwe-Etshori, and Hiotshuwau are separate languages (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977.201). Traditional religion, Christian. Survey needed.

HIOTSHUWAU (TYUA, TYHUA, HIOCHUWAU, TSHUWAU, CHUWAU) [HIO] 9,587 (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northeast. Survey needed.

=HUA (/HUA-OWANI, /HUA, /HÛ) [HUC] 1,000 to 1,500 (GR). Southern Kalahari Desert, Kweneng District. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Southern, Hua. Reported to be diminishing in numbers. Related to !Xoo. Survey needed.

KALANGA (CHIKALANGA, KANANA, SEKALAÑA, SEKALANA) [KCK] 160,000 in Botswana (1993 P. Johnstone); 161,000 in Zimbabwe (1993 P. Johnstone); 321,000 in all countries. Northeast border with Zimbabwe and Francistown, Northeast and Central districts. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Shona (S.10). Dialect: LILIMA (HUMBE). Resistance to pressures to adopt Tswana language and culture is led by men. Different from Kalanga (KiKalanga, Holoholo) of Zaïre. Bible portions 1904-1993. Work in progress.

KGALAGADI (KHALAGARI, KHALAKADI, KXHALAXADI, QALAQARZI) [XKV] 35,000 in Botswana (1995 LBT). South and central, along the South Africa border, Kgalagadi, Kweneng, Southern, and Northwest districts, including Tsabong, Hukuntsi, Kang, Lobatse, Gaborone, Jweneng, Mochadi, and north. Small groups in Namibia. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.30), Tswana. Dialects: MGOLOGA, SHAGA, KGALAGADI, BOLAONGWE, PEDI, PHALENG. Ngologa is the largest dialect. A separate language from Tswana. It may be 2 separate languages. Some speakers use Tswana, English, or Afrikaans as second language. Some can read Tswana or English. Typology: SVO; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word final; word order distinguishes Subject, Object, Indirect Object; Verb Affixes mark person and number; passives formed by suffix -w; causatives formed by suffix -is; comparative locatives; CV; tonal. Semi-arid desert. Plains. Nomadic and sedentary pastoralists. Christian. Survey needed.

KOSSEE (KOSSEE-NTSHORI, KOSSEE-TSHORI) [KSO] Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northeast. Related to Shua. Survey needed.

KUNG-GOBABIS (//AU//EI, //X'AU//'E, =KX'AU//'EI, //X'AU//'E, AUEN, KAUKAU, KOKO) [AUE] 5,000 in all countries (1993 UBS); 30,000 including Kung-Tsumkwe (1995 LBT). Ghanzi District, along Namibia border, north of Naro, east of G//wi-Khwe. Also in Namibia. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Northern. Dialect: NOGAU. The people call themselves '=kxau//'ei'. Traditional religion, Christian. Work in progress.

KUNG-TSUMKWE (XÛ, XUN, KUNG, !XO, JU/'HOAN, JU'OASI, ZHU'OASI, DZU'OASI, TSHUMKWE) [KTZ] 4,000 to 8,000 in Botswana (1995 LBT). Northwest District, on Namibia and Angola borders, north of Kung-Gobabis. Also in Namibia. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Northern. Dialects: DZU'OASI (SSU GHASSI, ZHU'OASE), NOGAU (AGAU). Speakers use the name 'Ju/'hoan' for themselves. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible portions 1974.

KWE-ETSHORI (KWEE, KWE, KWE-TSHORI) [KWQ] Near Francistown. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northeast. Kwe-Etshori, Hiechware, and Hiotshuwau are separate languages (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Survey needed.

MBUKUSHU (MBUKUSHI, MAMBUKUSH, MAMPUKUSH, MBUKUHU, THIMBUKUSHU, GOVA, KUSSO) [MHW] 12,000 in Botswana (1995 LBT); 6,000 in Angola (1972 Barrett); 20,000 in all countries (1991 UBS). Northwest District, to the Angolan border, just east of Herero, and northwest of Yei. Also in Zambia and a few in Namibia. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Kwangwa (K.40). Close to Kwangali, but a separate language. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1986. Bible portions 1976-1986.

NAMA (NAMAN, NAMAKWA, NAMAQUA, DAMA, DAMARA, DAMAQUA, TAMA, TAMMA, TAMAKWA, BERDAMA, BERGDAMARA, KAKUYA BUSHMAN NASIE, ROOI NASIE, HOTTENTOT, "KLIPKAFFER", "KLIPKAFFERN", KHOEKHOEGOWAP) [NAQ] 200 to 1,000 in Botswana (1995 LBT); 90,000 in Namibia (1993 Johnstone); 146,000 in all countries (1989 UBS). Southeastern, Kgalagadi District, south of Makopong, on South Africa border. Also in South Africa. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Nama. Typology: SOV. Bible 1966. NT 1866-1909. Bible portions 1831-1984.

NARO (NHARON, NHAURU, NHAURUN, //AIKWE, /AIKWE, //AI//EN, //AISAN, //AI//E~I) [NHR] 9,500 in all countries (1995 LBT) including 6,000 Naro (1992 R. Vossen) and 3,500 in Ts'aokhoe dialect (1995 LBT). Ghanzi District. A few across the border in Namibia. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Southwest. Dialects: /AMKWE, /ANEKWE, G!INKWE, !GINGKWE, G!OKWE, QABEKHOE (QABEKHO, !KABBAKWE), TS'AOKHOE (TSAUKWE, TSAOKHWE), TSEREKWE, TSOROKWE, N/HAI-NTSE'E (N//HAI, TS'AO). Traditional religion, Christian. Work in progress.

SHUA (SHUA-KHWE, MASHUAKWE, TSHUMAKWE) [SHG] 19,000 in Botswana together with the Tshwa group (1995 LBT), including 100 Danisin (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Central and Northwest districts, Nata. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, North Central. Dialects: SHUA-KHWE (MASHUAKWE), N/OO-KHWE (N/OO, N//OOKHWE), /OREE-KHWE (/OREE, /KOREE-KHOE), //'AIYE (/AAYE), /HAISE (/XAISE, /TAISE, /HAIS, /AIS), TSHIDI-KHWE (TSH'ITI, TCAITI, SILI, SHETE TSERE), DANISIN (DANISI, DANISA, DEMISA, MADENASSE, MADENASSA, MADINNISANE). Bible portions 1978. Survey needed.

SUBIA (ECHISUBIA, SUBIYA, SUPIA, CHIKWAHANE, CHIIKUHANE) [SBS] 12,000 in Botswana (1993 Johnstone); 5,500 in Zambia (1969 census); 5,904 in Namibia (1960); 23,400 in all countries. Far north Zambia border area, into Caprivi, around Kachikau, north of Chobe National Park, Northwest District. Also in Namibia. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Subia (L.50). Their name for their language is 'Chikwahane'; 'Subiya' is the Tswana name. Tonga is probably a separate language. Traditional religion, Christian. Survey needed.

TSWANA (CHUANA, COANA, CUANA, SECHUANA, BEETJUANS) [TSW] 1,070,000 in Botswana (1993 Johnstone), 70% of the population; 2,822,000 in South Africa (1995 The Economist); 29,350 in Zimbabwe (1969 census); 11,300 in Namibia; 3,932,000 in all countries. Spoken throughout the country. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.30), Tswana. Dialects: TLAHAPING (TLAPI), ROLONG, KWENA, KGATLA, NGWATU. Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, and Tswana are largely inherently intelligible but have generally been considered separate languages. Primary school is taught in Tswana. 90% to 95% of children complete standard 7 in primary school. 65% literacy rate for those over 20. National language. Agriculturalists, pastoralists: cattle. Christian, traditional religion. Braille Scripture in progress. Bible 1857-1993. NT 1840-1994. Bible portions 1830-1966.

!XOO (NG/AMANI) [NMN] 3,000 to 4,000 in Botswana (1995 LBT); 50 in Namibia (1995); 3,000 to 4,000 in all countries (1995), including 215 in Xatia (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Southern Gantsi district, northern Kgalagadi District, western Southern District. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Southern, Hua. Dialects: AUNI (/AUNI, /AUO), KAKIA (MASARWA), KI/HAZI, NG/U//EN (NU//EN, /U//E~IN, NG/U/EI, /NU//EN, //U//EN), NUSAN (NG/USAN, NU-SAN, NOOSAN, NG/USAN), XATIA (KATIA, KATTEA, KHATIA, VAALPENS, /KUSI, /EIKUSI), !KWI. Nusan are in Botswana. People older than 10 who have been to school or have lived with speakers of other languages use Tswana, Kgalagadi, Herero, Naro, or G//wi-Khwe as second languages for common topics. Typology: SVO; prepositions; genitives, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; quesion word initial; 2 prefixes, 3 suffixes; word order distinguishes subjects, objects, indirect objects; verb affixes mark number, gender of Subject and Object, and is obligatory; passives; reduplication on periphrastics for causatives; periphrastic comparatives; CV, CVV, CVCV, CVN; tonal. Savannah. Plains. Sedentary hunter-gatherers. Altitude: 1100 meters. Nusan: traditional religion, Christian.

XUN (WATER BUSHMEN, MBARAKWENA, KHWE) [XUU] 11,000 in all countries or more; 9,000 in Angola; 2,000 in Namibia. Near the Buka Khwe and the Xun. Khoisan, Southern Africa, Central, Tshu-Khwe, Northwest.

YEYE (SEYEYI, SEYEI, YEI, YEEI, YEYI, CIYEI, KOBA, KUBA) [YEY] 20,000 in Botswana (1995 L.N. Ramahobo). Northwest District, Okavango swamp, and a few west of Subia on the Zambia border. Some in Namibia. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Yeye (R.40). Speakers work for the Batawana, a subgroup of Tswana. Not closely related to other languages. Young people use Tswana or English as second language. 25% literate in Tswana or English. Motivation for literacy is high. Typology: SVO; postpositions; articles, adjectives, numeals after noun heads; relatives before or after; question word initial; 4 prefixes, one suffix; word order distinguishes Subjects, Objects, Indirect Objects; noun affixes indicate case; verb affixes mark person, number, gender; CVC; non-tonal. Delta. Plains. Fishermen, hunters, peasant agriculturalists. Altitude: 850 to 1,000 meters. Christian.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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