What language is spoken in Africa? After all, the continent is very large, and there are a lot of language groups here. Let’s get to the bottom of this complex issue.
Many believe that if they speak English or French, then they will definitely be understood by the local population of Africa. In reality, this turns out not to be the case.
In the traditional sense, the languages that are used in Africa are divided into four macrofamilies: Afro-Asiatic, Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Khoisan.
They, in turn, are divided into smaller groups, and then even smaller, down to rare dialects. Each macrofamily has its own characteristics.
For example, the Niger-Congo family is characterized by nominal classes, while the Khoisan family is characterized by clicking consonants.
There is also a myth that all African languages are primitive. This is absolutely not true. For example, Amharic is the official language in Ethiopia.
It is by right a unique language that has its own script, dating back to the South Arabian script (namely, to the 9th century BC).
There are 259 characters in the Amharic alphabet, each of which represents a specific syllable. Consonant sounds -34.
The difficulty also applies to the Swahili language. It is spoken by about 150,000,000 people in the world. It is the most studied African language.
The peculiarity is that it has eight named classes. For example, the nominal class is equal to the gender in Russian.
In other words, linguistic diversity in Africa is massive. After all, the inhabitants of this continent speak almost 2000 languages, each of which is unique and reflects the history of the region.
Despite this, every African is bilingual, that is, a person who can communicate in at least two languages (often three or more). Despite the fact that English is taught in schools, it is not their native language.
Yes, of course, a person who knows English will be able to find common ground with an African who also speaks it.
But, in the case of Africa, it is possible to find such a person who would be fluent in English and without a dialect only in the central region and large cities.