Sotho, Northern

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A language of South Africa

Alternate Names
Pedi, Sepedi, Transvaal Sotho
Population

4,090,000 in South Africa (2006), increasing. Population total all countries: 4,101,000.

Location

Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Also in Botswana.

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, 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. Latin script, primary usage.
Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.