Sotho, Northern

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A language of South Africa

Alternate Names
Pedi, Sepedi, Sesotho sa Leboa, Transvaal Sotho
Population

4,620,000 in South Africa (2011 census), increasing. Population total all countries: 4,631,000. L2 users: 9,100,000 in South Africa.

Location

Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (2004, Constitution, Article 6(1)).

Dialects

Dzwabo (Thabine-Roka-Nareng), Gananwa (Hananwa, Xananwa), Kgaga (Khaga, Kxaxa), Khutswe (Khutswi, Kutswe), Koni (Kone), Kopa (Ndebele-Sotho), Lobedu (Khelobedu, Lovedu, Lubedu), Masemola (Masemula, Tau), Matlala-Moletshi, Pai, Phalaborwa (Phalaburwa, Thephalaborwa), Pulana, Tlokwa (Dogwa, Tlokoa, Tokwa), Tswene (Tsweni). Dialects Pai, Kutswe, and Pulana are more divergent and sometimes called ‘Eastern Sotho’.

Language Development
Taught in primary and secondary schools. Radio programs. TV. Bible: 1904–2000.
Writing

Braille script [Brai]. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.