Swahili is the most widely spoken language in Africa with an estimated 100 to 150 million speakers. Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya have official versions of this language although it is also spoken in Ethiopia, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, southern Somalia, northern Mozambique and the Comoros Islands.
Amharic is one of the most widely spoken languages in Ethiopia with approximately 20 million native speakers. It is the world's second most spoken Semitic language after Arabic and it is related to Hebrew, Tigrinya and other Middle Eastern languages.
Yoruba is one of West Africa's most spoken languages, with over 30 million speakers in Nigeria, Benin and Togo combined. There are about 15 varieties of this African language including Ekiti, Ijebu, Oworo, Ijesha and Akoko.
Oromo is a prominent language spoken in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Egypt. This language is spoken by over 30 million people accounting for more than 40% of the Ethiopian population.
Hausa; one of Nigeria's official languages has about 40 million speakers on the African continent. It is also spoken in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo, Eritrea, Germany, Ghana, Niger, Sudan, Togo and many other North African nations.
Along with Nigeria, Igbo is also spoken in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. This widely spoken African language is spoken by 20 million people and has over 20 distinct dialects including Owerri, Eche, and, of course, Central Igbo.
Zulu; one of South Africa's most frequently spoken languages is claimed to be spoken by about 10 million people. Zulu; a Bantu language is closely linked to other Bantu languages such as Xhosa and Ndebele. In fact, Zulu and Xhosa have such similar dialects that many people mistake them for one language.
Shona is an African language spoken by about 10 million people most notably in Zimbabwe with English. There are three different Shona dialects: Karanga, Zezuru and Korekore. Shona; a Bantu/Nguni language employs the Latin script in its writing system.
Arabic is spoken by 280 million people globally and is also used in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Tunisia and Eritrea. Modern Standard Arabic is widely utilized in contact with the majority of Arabic speakers. This dialect is used to write the language and may be found in media and literature. Classical Arabic, on the other hand, is mostly used to study the language academically.
Did you know that six African countries have Portuguese as their official language? These countries are known as Lusophone Africa and they include Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Sao Tome & Principe and Equatorial Guinea. Portuguese is spoken as a first language by roughly 14 million people in this continent and it is also spoken as a second language by approximately 30 million people.
Francophone Africa is made up of 26 African countries. Gabon, Mauritius, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Sao Tome & Principe are among the top French-speaking countries on this continent. In addition to these, French is spoken in North African nations such as Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. In Africa, French is spoken by around 120 million people.
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