Tswana

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A language of Botswana

Alternate Names
Beetjuans, Chuana, Coana, Cuana, Sechuana
Autonym
Setswana, Tswana
Population

1,860,000 in Botswana, all users. L1 users: 1,710,000 (2015). L2 users: 150,000. Total users in all countries: 13,664,710 (as L1: 5,814,710; as L2: 7,850,000).

Location

Widespread as lingua franca; Central district: Mahalapye and Serowe-Palapye subdistricts; Kgatleng and South East districts; Kweneng and Southern districts: east; North West district: Maun village area.

Language Status

1 (National). De facto national language.

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.

Language Use

Vigorous. Used among the educated. More for spoken purposes than written. All ages.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 80%–90%. Official language of instruction grades 1–4 in all government primary schools. Taught in primary schools. Newspapers. Periodicals. Radio. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1857–1993.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

90%–95% of children complete standard 7 in primary school. Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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