South Africa

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Afrikaans
[afr] Widespread, but fewer speakers in East Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. 6,860,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD), decreasing. L2 users: 10,300,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Total users in all countries: 17,537,060 (as L1: 7,237,060; as L2: 10,300,000). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Art 6(1)). Dialects: Cape Afrikaans (West Cape Afrikaans), Orange River Afrikaans, East Cape Afrikaans. A variant of the Dutch [nld] spoken by the 17th century colonists, with some lexical and syntactic borrowings from Malay [zlm], Bantu languages, Khoisan languages, Portuguese [por], and other European languages. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Franconian. Comments: Muslim, Christian.

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Birwa
[brl] Northern province: Capricorn district; near Zimbabwe border. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.32). Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Camtho
[cmt] Gauteng province: Soweto, Johannesburg, other urban settings. No known L1 speakers. Ethnic population: No ethnic community. Status: 9 (Second language only). Alternate Names: Iscamtho, Isicamtho, Tsotsitaal. Dialects: None known. Developed in the 1980s from the original Flaaitaal [fly], and sometimes called Tsotsitaal. Also described as a basically Zulu [zul] or Sotho language with heavy code switching and many English [eng] and Afrikaans [afr] content morphemes. Classification: Mixed language, Zulu-Bantu.

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English
[eng] KwaZulu-Natal province; Tugela river to Port Edward area, and inland to Eastern Cape province; urban concentrations, Johannesburg, suburbs; Gauteng province: Cape Town area; Western Cape province. 4,890,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD). L2 users: 11,000,000 in South Africa (Crystal 2003a). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Flaaitaal
[fly] Gauteng province: Johannesburg area; Pretoria, Bloemfontein and other cities. Status: 9 (Dormant). Alternate Names: Flaai Taal, Fly Taal, Tsotsitaal. Dialects: None known. Not intelligible of Afrikaans [afr]. Used many Afrikaans, English [eng], and Bantu words, and others of unknown origin. Classification: Creole, Afrikaans based. Comments: ‘Tsotsitaal’, speech of a young gang member, criminal, or thug.

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Gail
[gic] Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape provinces; mainly urban settings: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, and Port Elizabeth. No known L1 speakers. L2 users: 20,000. Ethnic population: No ethnic community. Status: 9 (Second language only). Dialects: None known. In Johannesburg more English based, in Pretoria more Afrikaans [afr] based. May be related to Polari [pld] in the United Kingdom. Classification: Unclassified. Comments: An in-group language.

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Hindi
[hin] KwaZulu-Natal province. 361,000 in South Africa (2003). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Western Hindi, Hindustani. Comments: Non-indigenous. Has Bhojpuri [bho] features in South Africa. Hindu.

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Khoekhoe
[naq] Northern Cape province. 2,000 in South Africa (Brenzinger 2013). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Bergdamara, Dama, Damaqua, Damara, “Hottentot” (pej.), Khoekhoegowap, Khoi, Nama, Namakwa, Naman, Namaqua, Tama, Tamakwa, Tamma. Dialects: Gimsbok Nama. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Khoekhoe, Nama. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Korana
[kqz] Northern Cape province. No known L1 speakers. Ethnic population: 10,000 (1972 D. Barrett, M. Hronek, G. Mambo et al.). Status: 9 (Dormant). Alternate Names: !Kora, !Ora, Gorachouqua, Koranna, Koraqua. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Khoekhoe, Nama. Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

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Kung-Ekoka
[knw] North Cape province: Diamondfields district, Kimberley, Schmidtsdrift military base. 3,700 in South Africa (Brenzinger 2013). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: !Hu, !Khung, !Ku, !Kung, !Xu, !Xun, Ekoka-!Xû, Kung, Qxü. Classification: Kx’a, !Kung. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Ndebele
[nbl] Mpumalanga and Gauteng (Nkangala district) provinces: northeast of Pretoria. 1,090,000 (2011 census). L2 users: 1,400,000 (Webb 2002). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Alternate Names: Isikhethu, IsiNdebele, Ndzundza, Nrebele, Southern Ndebele, Transvaal Ndebele. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.407). Comments: Different from Ndebele [nde] of Zimbabwe.

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N|u
[ngh] Northern Cape province: Olifantshoek and Upington towns. 5 (Brenzinger 2013), decreasing. 5 elderly women, 3 speaking the N|uu dialect in Upington, 2 speaking the ||Au variety in Olifantshoek. Ethnic population: 500 (1998 N. Crawhall). Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Alternate Names: ‡Khomani, N||ng, N|huuki, N|uu, N|uuki, Nghuki, Ng’uki. Dialects: N|u, ||Au, ||Ng!ke (||Ng, |Ing|ke, Ng||-|e). Reportedly similar to |Xam [xam]. Classification: Tuu, !Ui. Comments: The |’Auni dialect has no remaining speakers. Christian, traditional religion.

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Oorlams
[oor] Mpumalanga province. 32,000 (2006 J. Leclerc). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Classification: Creole, Afrikaans based.

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Pidgin Bantu
[fng] Gauteng province: suburban Johannesburg and mining areas. Ethnic population: No ethnic community. Total users in all countries: 5,100 (as L1: NaN; as L2: 5,100). Status: 9 (Second language only). Alternate Names: Basic Zulu, “Fanagalo” (pej.), Fanagoloi, “Fanakalo” (pej.), “Fanekolo” (pej.), “Isikula” (pej.), Isilololo, Isipiki, Lololo, Piki, Silunguboi. Dialects: Zambia dialect is called Cikabanga; in Zimbabwe, it is called, Chilapalapa. Influenced by Shona [sna] in Zimbabwe. About 70% of the vocabulary in Zimbabwe comes from Zulu [zul], 24% from English [eng], 6% from Afrikaans [afr]. Influenced by Bemba [bem] in Zambia. Lexical similarity: 70% with Zulu [zul], 24% with English [eng], 6% with Afrikaans [afr]. Classification: Pidgin, Zulu based. Comments: Originated in 19th century. “Fanagalo” and most or all other names are pejorative.

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Ronga
[rng] KwaZulu-Natal province. 1,000 in South Africa (2012 J. Leclerc). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Shironga. Dialects: Konde. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Tswa-Rhonga (S.54).

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Seroa
[kqu] Free State province: Xhariep district; near Swaziland border. No known L1 speakers. Status: 10 (Extinct). Dialects: !Gã!nge (!Gã!ne), ||Ku||e. Had 3 dialects. Classification: Tuu, !Ui.

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Sotho, Northern
[nso] Northern province; Mpumalanga province: Nkangala and Ehlanzeni districts; Gauteng province: Pretoria area; North-West province: Mortele municipality. 4,620,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 9,100,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Total users in all countries: 13,731,000 (as L1: 4,631,000; as L2: 9,100,000). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (2004, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Alternate Names: Pedi, Sepedi, Sesotho sa Leboa, Transvaal Sotho. Dialects: Masemola (Masemula, Tau), Kgaga (Khaga, Kxaxa), Koni (Kone), Tswene (Tsweni), Gananwa (Hananwa, Xananwa), Pulana, Phalaborwa (Phalaburwa, Thephalaborwa), Khutswe (Khutswi, Kutswe), Lobedu (Khelobedu, Lovedu, Lubedu), Tlokwa (Dogwa, Tlokoa, Tokwa), Pai, Dzwabo (Thabine-Roka-Nareng), Kopa (Ndebele-Sotho), Matlala-Moletshi. Dialects Pai, Kutswe, and Pulana are more divergent and sometimes called ‘Eastern Sotho’. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.32). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

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Sotho, Southern
[sot] Free State province; Gauteng province: Tembisa and Kempton Park; Eastern Cape province: Senqu municipality, south of Lesotho; North-West and Mpumalanga provinces border areas. 3,850,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 7,900,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Alternate Names: Sesotho, Sisutho, Souto, Suthu, Suto. Dialects: Taung. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.33). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

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South African Sign Language
[sfs] Scattered. 235,000 (2011 census). Approx. 500,000 (2008 WFD). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: SASL. Dialects: Several dialects are used unofficially in different regions. Deaf Federation of South Africa promotes a standardized variety. The North British sign system was used for the deaf in white English-speaking families. In 1881 a school for Afrikaans [afr]-speaking families began using British Sign Language [bfi]. Several dialects are used unofficially in different schools. 9 sign language systems, 60% related to British Sign Language [bfi] or Australian sign languages [asf], few to American Sign Language [ase]. There is a Signed Afrikaans as well. Classification: Sign language.

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Swahili
[swh] KwaZulu-Natal province: Chatsworth 1, on coast, southwest of Durban proper. 2,000 in South Africa (2012 J. Leclerc). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Arab-Swahili, Bajun, Kisuahili, Kiswaheli, Suahili. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Swahili (G.42). Comments: Non-indigenous. Zanzibaris brought from Zanzibar and northern Mozambique from 1873–1878. Muslim.

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Swati
[ssw] KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces. 1,300,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD). L2 users: 2,400,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Alternate Names: Siswati, Siswazi, Swazi, Tekela, Tekeza, Thithiza, Yeyeza. Dialects: Baca, Hlubi, Phuthi (Sephuthi). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.43). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

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Tamil
[tam] 250,000 in South Africa (2015 V. Sivasupramaniam). Ethnic population: 1,030,000 (2012 J. Leclerc). Status: 4 (Educational). Classification: Dravidian, Southern, Tamil-Kannada, Tamil-Kodagu, Tamil-Malayalam, Tamil. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Tsonga
[tso] Northern and Mpumalanga provinces. 2,280,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 3,400,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Total users in all countries: 8,479,000 (as L1: 5,079,000; as L2: 3,400,000). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Alternate Names: Shangaan, Shangana, Shitsonga, Thonga, Tonga, Xitsonga. Dialects: Luleke (Xiluleke), Gwamba (Gwapa), Changana (Xichangana), Hlave, Kande, N’walungu (Shingwalungu), Xonga (Ssonga), Jonga (Dzonga), Nkuna, Songa, Nhlanganu (Shihlanganu). ‘Tsonga’ is used to describe Changana [tso], Tswa [tsc], and Ronga [rng], although often used interchangeably with Changana, the most prestigious of the 3. All are recognized as languages, although inherently intelligible. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Tswa-Rhonga (S.53). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

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Tswa
[tsc] Northern province: near South Africa-Zimbabwe-Mozambique shared border. 20,000 in South Africa (2012 J. Leclerc). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Kitshwa, Sheetshwa, Shitshwa, Tshwa, Xitshwa. Dialects: Hlengwe (Makawe-Khambana), Tshwa (Dzibi-Dzonga). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Tswa-Rhonga (S.51). Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Tswana
[tsn] North-West province: Free State, between Kimberley and Bloemfontein; Northern province: Waterberg municipality; Northern Cape province: northeast; Gauteng province: southwest of Pretoria. 4,070,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 7,700,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Alternate Names: Beetjuans, Chuana, Coana, Cuana, Sechuana, Setswana, Tsiwaha. Dialects: Tawana, Hurutshe, Ngwaketse, Thlaro, Kwena, Ngwato, Tlokwa, Melete, Kgatla, Thlaping (Tlapi), Rolong. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.31). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

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‡Ungkue
[gku] Northern Cape Province, Siya Themba municipality, near the confluence of the Orange and Vaal rivers. No known L1 speakers. Status: 10 (Extinct). Alternate Names: ||Kxau. Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to N|u [ngh]. Classification: Tuu, !Ui.

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Urdu
[urd] KwaZulu-Natal province: Durban coastal and urban areas; Gauteng province: Johannesburg area, and scattered smaller towns. 12,000 in South Africa (2006 J. Leclerc). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Western Hindi, Hindustani. Comments: Non-indigenous. Muslim.

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Venda
[ven] Northern province. 1,210,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 1,700,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Total users in all countries: 2,994,000 (as L1: 1,294,000; as L2: 1,700,000). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Alternate Names: Chivenda, Tshivenda. Dialects: Phani, Tavha-Tsindi, Ilafuri (West Venda), Manda (Central Venda), Guvhu, Mbedzi (East Venda), Lembetu, Ronga (Southeast Venda). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Venda (S.21). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian, Jewish.

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|Xam
[xam] Northern Cape province. No known L1 speakers. Status: 10 (Extinct). Alternate Names: |Kamka!e, |Kham-Ka-!k’e, |Xam-Ka-!k’e. Dialects: Strandberg, Katkop, Achterveld. Classification: Tuu, !Ui.

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||Xegwi
[xeg] Northern province. No known L1 speakers. Last known speaker died in 1988. Status: 10 (Extinct). Alternate Names: ||Xegwe, ||Xekwi, Abathwa, Amabusmana, Amankgqwigqwi, Batwa, Boroa, Bush-C, Gi|kxigwi, Ki||kxigwi, Kloukle, Lxloukxle, Nkqeshe, Tloue, Tloutle. Classification: Tuu, !Ui.

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Xhosa
[xho] Eastern Cape province: east of Middelburg and Port Elizabeth; Northern Cape province: southeast Pixley ka Seme municipality; KwaZulu-Natal province: Ugu and Sisonke municipalities; Free State: border area, west of Lesotho. 8,150,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD). L2 users: 11,000,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Total users in all countries: 19,177,300 (as L1: 8,177,300; as L2: 11,000,000). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Alternate Names: “Cauzuh” (pej.), Isixhosa, Koosa, Xosa. Dialects: Mpondo (Pondo), Xesibe, Bomwana, Gaika, Gcaleka, Thembu, Mpondomise, Ndlambe. 15% of the vocabulary estimated to be of Khoekhoe (Khoisan) origin. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.41). Comments: Cauzuh is an obsolete name. Somewhat acculturated. Christian, traditional religion.

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Xiri
[xii] Northern Cape province: near Namibia border. 87 in South Africa (2000). Total users in all countries: 187. Status: 8b (Nearly extinct). Alternate Names: Cape Hottentot, Gri, Grikwa, Griqua, Gry, Xirikwa, Xrikwa. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Khoekhoe, Nama.

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Yiddish, Eastern
[ydd] Status: 5 (Dispersed). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, High German, Yiddish. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Zulu
[zul] KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga (Gert Sibande muni) provinces; northeast Free State and southeast Gauteng provinces; Eastern Cape province: Harding area. 11,600,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 15,700,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Total users in all countries: 27,669,100 (as L1: 11,969,100; as L2: 15,700,000). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)). Alternate Names: Isizulu, Zunda. Dialects: Lala, Qwabe, Cele, Transvaal Zulu. Reportedly similar to Swazi [ssw] and Xhosa [xho]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.42). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

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