Botswana

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Afrikaans
[afr] Virtually all of Kgalagadi and Ghanzi districts; small area in Southern district: southwest of Khakea; west North West district along Namibian border; Central and Kgatleng districts, north of Limpopo river; possibly in Takatokwane area. 6,750 in Botswana (2003 UNSD). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Franconian. Comments: Christian.

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||Ani
[hnh] North West district: Khwai river, Mababe; near Khwe [xuu] language area. 1,000 (Brenzinger 2013). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: ||Anikhwe, |Anda, Handá, Handádam, Handa-Khwe, Handakwe-Dam, Ts’exa, Ts’éxa. Dialects: None known. May be the same language as Khwe [xuu] (Brenzinger 2013). Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Northwest. Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Birwa
[brl] Central district: Bobonong subdistrict; east of Selebi-Phikwe in Bobonong, Kobojango, Semolale, Motalatau, and Mathathane. 15,000 in Botswana (2004 R. Cook). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.32).

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Chichewa
[nya] Status: 4 (Educational). Alternate Names: Chinjanja, Chinyanja, Nyanja. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Chewa-Nyanja (N.31). Comments: Non-indigenous.

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English
[eng] 34,400 in Botswana (2003 UNSD). L2 users: 630,000 in Botswana (Crystal 2003a). Status: 1 (National). De facto national language. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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||Gana
[gnk] Ghanzi district: New Xadi and Ghanzi, Ghanzi commercial farms, Central Kalahari Game Reserve; Central district: Boteti subdistrict, cattleposts south and west of Rakops. 1,030 (Brenzinger 2013). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Dxana, G||ana, G||ana-Khwe, Gxana, Gxanna, Kanakhoe. Dialects: Domkhoe, G||aakhwe (Balanka, G||aa), G||anakhwe (Kanakhoe), |Khessákhoe. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Southwest.

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Gciriku
[diu] North West district; extreme northwest, west and north borders with Namibia. 2,000 in Botswana (2004 R. Cook). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Diriko, Diriku, Mbogedo, Mbogedu, Rugciriku, Rumanyo, Shimbogedu. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.332).

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|Gwi
[gwj] Kweneng district: Dutlwe, Serinane, Takotokwane, Kautwane, Khekhenye, Letihakeng, Morwamosu, and Tsetseng; Ghanzi district: New Xade, East Hanahai, and Kacgae. 1,470 (Brenzinger 2013). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Dcui, G!wikwe, G|wi, G|wikhwe, Gcwi. Dialects: Khute. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Southwest.

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Hai||om
[hgm] 30,000 in Botswana (2003 J. Leclerc). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Khoekhoe, Hainum. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Herero
[her] Scattered among other ethnic groups; Ghanzi district: Charles Hill, Ghanzi, Makunda, Dryhoek, New Kanagas, Dekar; North West district: Maun, Gomare, Sehitwa, Makakung, Nokaneng, Shakawe, Nxaunxau, and western cattleposts; Central district: Mahalapye, Toromoja, Rakops, Mokoboxane, Letlhakane; Kgalagadi district: Tsabong, Omaweneno, Werd; Kgatleng district: Morwa. 11,000 in Botswana (2003 UNSD). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Ochiherero, Otjiherero. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Herero (R.30). Comments: Spoken by the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu peoples. Erroneously called ‘Damara’. Most came as refugees from Namibia in the early 1900s. Christian, traditional religion.

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‡Hua
[huc] Southern Kalahari desert, Kweneng district. 30 (Brenzinger 2013), decreasing. Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Alternate Names: |Hû, |Hua, ‡Hoa, ‡Hoã, ‡Hoan, ‡Hua-Owani. Dialects: ‡Hua, Sasi. Related to !Xóõ [nmn]. Classification: Kx’a.

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Ju|’hoan
[ktz] North West district: west of Nokaneng; Ghanzi district: Grootelaagte, Kanagas, Ghanzi, and commercial farms. 5,000 in Botswana (2002). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: !Xo, !Xun, Dobe Kung, Dzu’oasi, Ju’oasi, Kung, Kung-Tsumkwe, Tsumkwe, Xaixai, Xû, Zhu’oasi. Dialects: Dzu’oasi (Ssu Ghassi, Zhu’oase), Nogau (Agau), ‡Kx’au||’ein (||Au||ei, ||X’au||’e, ‡Kx’au||’ei, Auen, Kaukau, Koko, Kung-Gobabis). Classification: Kx’a, !Kung. Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Kalanga
[kck] Eastern third of Central and entire North East districts; southeast North West district; Lilima mainly in Botswana. 150,000 in Botswana (2004 R. Cook). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Chikalanga, Ikalanga, Kalaka, Sekalaka, Sekalaña, Tjikalanga. Dialects: Nyai (Nyayi, Rozvi), Ikalanga, Talahundra, Lilima (Humbe), Peri. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Shona (S.16). Comments: Different from Holoholo [hoo] of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Kgalagadi
[xkv] South and central, along South Africa border, north Kgalagadi district: west Kweneng; Southern district; Ghanzi district: Ghanzi, Kanagas, Tsotsha, Kuke, Karakobis, Ncojane, Kule, Charles Hill, New Xade, Dekar, and Grootlaagte; North West district: Sehitwa and Maun. 40,000 (2004 R. Cook). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Kgalagarhi, Kgalagari, Khalagari, Khalakadi, Kxhalaxadi, Qhalaxari, Sekgalagadi, Shekgalagadi, Shekgalagari. Dialects: Ngologa, Shaga, Kgalagadi (Kgalagari), Balaongwe (Boloongwe), Shelala, Pedi, Phaleng, Kenyi (Khena), Kgwatheng, Tjhauba, Khakhae, Koma, Rhiti, Siwane (Gyegwana). Ngologa is the largest dialect and may be a separate language. Different from Tswana [tsn]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.311). Comments: Christian.

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Khoekhoe
[naq] Kgalagadi district: Tsabong, Makopong, Omaweneno, Tshane; Ghanzi district: villages along Ghanzi-Mamuno road. 200 in Botswana (2003 J. Leclerc). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Bergdamara, Dama, Damaqua, Damara, “Hottentot” (pej.), Khoekhoegowab, “Kupkaferrn” (pej.), “Kupkaffer” (pej.), Nama, Namakwa, Naman, Namaqua, Tama, Tamakwa, Tamma. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Khoekhoe, Nama. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Khwe
[xuu] North West district: Gan, Cadikarauwe, Mohembo, Shakawe, Kaputura, |Ao-Kyao, Sikondomboro, Ngarange, Sekanduko, Xongoa, Cauwe, Moxatce, Dungu, Seronga, Beyetca, Gudigoa, Sicokora, Geixa, ||Qom-ca, Tobere, ‡Umbexa, Djaxo, and Kangwara. 1,700 in Botswana (Brenzinger 2013). Children and elderly are monolingual. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Basarwa, Khoe, Kxoe, “Mbarakwena” (pej.), “Water Bushmen” (pej.), Xun. Dialects: Buga-Kxoe (||Ani-Khoe, ||Anikxoe, Boga, Buga-Khwe, Bukakhwe, Gani-Khwe, “River Bushman” (pej.), Tannekwe). Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Northwest. Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Kua
[tyu] Central district: especially Mahalapye, Serowe subdistricts; Northeast district. Primarily cattleposts and settlements. 820 (2004 R. Cook). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: “Basarwa” (pej.), Cua, “Masarwa” (pej.), Tyhua, Tyua. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Northeast. Comments: Nomadic. Traditional religion, Christian.

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Kuhane
[sbs] North West district: Chobe subdistrict, co-extensive with Lozi [loz] language area. 6,480 in Botswana (2003 UNSD). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Chikuhane, Echisubia, Ikuhane, Kuahane, Kwahane, Sesubea, Subia, Subiya, Supia. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Subiya-Totela (K.42). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Lozi
[loz] North West district: Chobe subdistrict (co-extensive with Kuhane). 14,000 in Botswana (2003 J. Leclerc). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Lozi (K.21).

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Mbukushu
[mhw] North West district: north of Gomare within 30 km of Okavango river. 20,000 in Botswana (2004 R. Cook). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Gova, Kusso, Mambukush, Mampukush, Mbukuhu, Mbukushi, Thimbukushu. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.333). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Nambya
[nmq] Central district: west and southeast of Nata town, also along Nata river watershed; small southeast corner area in North West district. 15,000 in Botswana (2004 R. Cook). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Chinambya, Nambzya, Nanzva. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Shona (S.16). Comments: Christian.

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Naro
[nhr] Ghanzi district: Ghanzi, Bere, Dekar, East Hanahai, West Hanahai, Kuke, New Kanagas, Tshobokwane, Makunda, Grootelaagte, Karakobis, Kanagas, Charles Hill, and commercial farms; south North West district. 8,000 in Botswana (2014 H. Visser). L2 users: 10,000 in Botswana (Brenzinger 2013). Total users in all countries: 20,000 (as L1: 10,000; as L2: 10,000). Status: 3 (Wider communication). Alternate Names: ||Ai||e, ||Ai||en, ||Aikwe, ||Aisan, |Aikwe, Nharo, Nharon, Nhauru, Nhaurun. Dialects: Ts’ao (Tsaokhwe, Tsaukwe), N|hai-Ntse’e (N||hai, Ts’ao), Qabekhoe (!Kabbakwe, Qabekho). Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Southwest. Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Ndebele
[nde] Central district: bordering Zimbabwe; North West district: Chobe area; North East district: a few villages. 8,170 in Botswana (2003 UNSD). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Isinde’bele, Northern Ndebele, Sindebele, Tabele, Tebele. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.44).

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Shua
[shg] Central district: Tutume subdistrict, Nata, Gweta; Boteti subdistrict, Motopi, Popipi, Mokoboxane, Mmatshumu, Letlhakane; very small area, southeast North West district. 2,000 (Brenzinger 2013). Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Mashuakwe, Shua-Khwe, Tshumakwe. Dialects: Shua-Khwe (Mashuakwe), N|oo-Khwe (N||ookhwe, N|oo), |Oree-Khwe (|Koree-Khoe, |Oree), ||’Aiye (|Aaye), |Xaise (|Ais, |Hais, |Haise, |Taise), Tshidi-Khwe (Shete Tsere, Sili, Tcaiti, Tsh’iti), Danisi (Danisa, Danisis, Demisa, Madenassa, Madenasse, Madinnisane), Cara, Deti, Ganádi, Ts’ixa. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, North-Central.

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Tsoa
[hio] Central district: especially Mahalapye and Serowe subdistricts; northeast Kweneng district, extending into bordering areas in Ghanzi and Kgatleng districts; primarily cattleposts and settlements. 2,000 in Botswana (Brenzinger 2013). Total users in all countries: 5,540. Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Chuwau, Chware, G||abake, Gabake-Ntshori, Haitshuari, Hietshware, Hiochuwau, Hiotshuwau, Kwe, Kwe-Etshori Kwee, Kwe-Tshori, Sarwa, Sesarwa, Tati, Tati Bushman, Tshuwau, Tshwa. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Northeast. Comments: Nomadic. Traditional religion, Christian.

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Tswana
[tsn] Widespread as lingua franca; Southeast and Kgatleng districts; east Southern and Kweneng districts, Central district: Serowe-Palapye and Mahalapye subdistricts; Northwest district: Maun village area. 1,250,000 in Botswana (2003 UNSD). L2 users: 150,000 in Botswana. Total users in all countries: 13,201,780 (as L1: 5,351,780; as L2: 7,850,000). Status: 1 (National). De facto national language. Alternate Names: Beetjuans, Chuana, Coana, Cuana, Sechuana, Setswana. Dialects: Tlahaping (Thlaping, Tlapi), Rolong, Kwena, Kgatla, Ngwatu (Ngwato), Tawana, Lete, Ngwaketse, Tlokwa, Sehurutshe. High intelligibility among Southern Sotho [sot], Northern Sotho [nso], and Tswana. Standard Tswana is based on the Sehurutshe dialect and is nearly identical to it. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.31). Comments: 90%–95% of children complete standard 7 in primary school. Christian, traditional religion.

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Tswapong
[two] Central district: Mahalapye subdistrict; all villages east of Mahalapye; Kgatleng district northeast corner. 5,380 (2003 UNSD). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Setswapong. Dialects: Reportedly some similarities to Northern Sotho [nso] and Tswana [tsn], but not clearly a dialect of either. Some intelligibility of northern dialect speakers of Tswana (Sengwato and Setawana), and of a northwestern dialect of Northern Sotho. Some Birwa [brl] and Tswapong [two] say their varieties are more similar to one another than to Tswana or Northern Sotho. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.32). Comments: Several groups: the Ramokgonami, Maifela, Chadibe, Sefbare, Tupsa.

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!Xóõ
[nmn] South Ghanzi district; north Kgalagadi district; west Southern and Kweneng districts. 2,000 in Botswana (2011 C. Naumann). Total users in all countries: 2,500. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Ng|amani, Tsasi. Dialects: Auni (|Auni, |Auo), Kakia (Masarwa), Ki|hazi, Ng|u||en (||U||en, |Nu||en, |U||en, Ng|u|ei, Nu||en), Nusan (Ng|usan, Noosan, Nu-San), Xatia (|Eikusi, |Kusi, Katia, Kattea, Khatia, Vaalpens), !Kwi. Classification: Tuu, Taa. Comments: Nusan are in Botswana. Nu||en dialect is extinct. Traditional religion, Christian.

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Yeyi
[yey] North West district: Maun, Shorobe up to Mababe, Sankoyo, Daunara, Nokaneng, Gumare, Sepopo, Ikoga, Shakawe, and Seronga; Central district: Letihakane, Xumu, Rakops, Motopi. 4,800 in Botswana (2003 UNSD). Ethnic population: 47,000. Total users in all countries: 9,800. Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Ciyei, “Koba” (pej.), “Kuba” (pej.), “Sekoba” (pej.), Seyeyi, Shiyeyi, Siyei, Yeei, Yei. Dialects: Shirwanga. Not closely related to other languages. Lexical similarity: 47% with Luyana [lyn], 30% with Herero [her]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Yeyi (R.41). Comments: Christian.

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Zezuru
[sna] Northern Central and northeast North West districts. 11,000 in Botswana (2004 R. Cook). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Shona. Dialects: Karanga. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Shona (S.10). Comments: Non-indigenous.

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