A language of Botswana


Alternate Names
Kgalagarhi, Kgalagari, Khalagari, Khalakadi, Kxhalaxadi, Qhalaxari, Sekgalagadi, Shekgalagadi, Shekgalagari
Language Maps

40,000 (2004 R. Cook).


South and central, along South Africa border, north Kgalagadi district: west Kweneng; Southern district; Ghanzi district: Ghanzi, Kanagas, Tsotsha, Kuke, Karakobis, Ncojane, Kule, Charles Hill, New Xade, Dekar, and Grootlaagte; North West district: Sehitwa and Maun.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Ngologa, Shaga, Kgalagadi (Kgalagari), Balaongwe (Boloongwe), Shelala, Pedi, Phaleng, Kenyi (Khena), Kgwatheng, Tjhauba, Khakhae, Koma, Rhiti, Siwane (Gyegwana). Ngologa is the largest dialect and may be a separate language. Different from Tswana [tsn].


SVO; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word final; word order distinguishes subject, object, indirect object; verb affixes mark person and number; passives formed by suffix -w; causatives formed by suffix -is; comparative locatives; CV; tonal.

Language Use

Also use Afrikaans [afr], English [eng], Tswana [tsn]. Used as L2 by !Xóõ [nmn].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Ages 15–29: 85% in Tswana [tsn], 55% in English [eng]; ages 30–54: 50% in Tswana, 15% in English; ages 55 and older: 20% in Tswana, 2% in English. Grammar. Bible portions: 2014.

Latin script [Latn].

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