A language of Namibia

Alternate Names
“Barakwena” (pej.), “Barakwengo” (pej.), Khoe, Kxoe, Kxoedam, “Mbarakwena” (pej.), “Water Bushmen” (pej.), Xun

2,900 in Namibia (2010 LBT). 3,600 in West Caprivi and 400 in East Caprivi. Population total all countries: 6,790.


West Caprivi is core land of Kxoe people by Kxoe and Namibian government; also in East Caprivi. Also in Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


||Anikhwe, ||Xo-Kxoe, ||Xom-Kxoe, Buga-Kxoe, Buma-Kxoe. Minor dialect differences within Khwe. Related to ||Ani [hnh], Naro [nhr], and Nama [naq] but is quite distinct from each of these and not mutually intelligible.

Language Use

Vigorous. Many non-Khwe learn Khwe for interaction with Khwe. Positive attitudes. Also use Afrikaans [afr], Tswana [tsn], Pidgin Bantu [fng] and English [eng].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 10%–20%. Literacy rate in L2: 10%–20%. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 2010.
Latin script, developed in 2006.
Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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