Anyone with a website and a webmaster account, such as the ones provided by Google, can see that people login form everywhere on the planet.
How do you handle this influx to make sure that your business and your website are well represented well? Website localization.
What Is Website Localization?
The definition supplied by Wikipedia is probably the best around:
“Website localization is the process of adapting an existing website to local language and culture in the target market. It is the process of adapting a website into a different linguistic and cultural context— involving much more than the simple translation of text. This modification process must reflect specific language and cultural preferences in the content, images and overall design and requirements of the site – all while maintaining the integrity of the website. Culturally adapted web sites reduce the amount of required cognitive efforts from visitors of the site to process information, making navigation easier and attitudes toward the web site more favorable.” (1)
This explanation is very telling.
“Adapting a website.. To local language and culture…” This is important. The definition goes on to say that the the work involves much more than simply translation. It requires and understanding of the target culture and an understanding of the priorities in that culture.
AfroLingo and Website Localization
In violation of the rule that says ‘don’t write a blog that is about your business”, we need to use ourselves as an example of how proper website localization is done.
African has over 1000 languages and our firm can do localization in over a dozen of those. We start with the most obvious question, “Can we do this for you?” We don’t work in Mandarin. Unfortunately, we would need to tell that if you called us, but if you want your site to work in Swaziland, we can help you. The languages there are Swati, English, and South African English.
That’s the start.
Next we assign a project manager. They will gather a team of language translators, programmers, designers, and others to do the work together.
Then we start working on changing your entire website.
- Error pages
- Help pages
- Sign up and cart options
- Much, much more.
All of this is to make sure that anything that a customer might see in, in this example, Swaziland, looks like it was made just for them.
The look and feel of your website will change. It might not be obvious to someone from that country, unless you don’t do it well.
Consider Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most recognizable brand and said to be one of the few things you can find in almost every corner of the world.
Here is the Coca-Cola France
Here is the Coca-Cola site Botswana
It might seem strange, but the first thing that you’ll notice is that the images are different. The Botswana website images better reflect the people who might look at the site from Botswana.
Those images are different from the American site, even though both Botswana and the US are in English. And the motto in Botswana is “Taste the Feeling”, but the American site doesn’t say that anywhere.
What Does All Of This Mean For You?
Simply put, you need to localize your website to fit the language and culture that you are entering. Translation is not enough, which means that trusting your website to a browser translator is not good enough. Change it to fit the customers you hope to gain.
Just for laughs…
Sometimes, even translation is not done well.
When Pepsi translated its slogan, “Come alive with Pepsi,” into Chinese, it didn’t go well. It came out as, “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead”. Creepy!
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Google Translate can be installed onto your browser and with the push of a button, any website, document, anything can be translated. But not very well…
The truth is that human language, even written language, is filled with nuances and details that a machine is not likely to catch. These are the times that you need a human translator.
Machine Translations: Strengths, Weaknesses, And Uses
The use of computers to translate documents and webpages started very early in the life of these amazing machines. Today, it has evolved into a massive business and provides free and paid translations billions of times each day.
When you click on a website, your browser will often translate it automatically. This power is amazing and allows us to read and see what people all over the world are seeing every day.
Machine translations, even for a professional translation company, can be a starting point. It’s the place where the translator can begin the process of looking at what you’re trying to say and help you say it.
As mentioned above, though, it has it’s weaknesses. While it might be fine for reading the day’s news in Russia or China or South Africa, it shouldn’t be trusted with business contracts, marketing materials, and other places where lack of precision can cost you a lot of money.
Human Translation: Strengths, Weaknesses, And Uses
Human translation is done by someone taking a source material and converting it to a new language. This is usually done by a professional translator who has been trained and practiced in doing language to language translations well and efficiently.
The biggest weakness is that most of us can’t afford to have a translator on call 24 hours a day. If you are a world leader and someone from another country calls, there will often be a translator in between. Those people and that service are available all the time. For the rest of us, we need to plan ahead a bit.
A human translator can take a document, a recorded speech, or even a live event and translate it well. They are able to see beyond the strict meaning of words to introduce nuances and cultural differences that a machine is hard pressed to understand.
Why Not Both?
At AfroLingo, we don’t see machine translation as another example of machines taking the place of humans. We see these wonderful tools for what they are: tools to make our work easier and maybe even a bit better. Nonetheless, no piece of translated work leaves our offices without being reviewed for accuracy by a trained translator and a project manager. No professional translation company should allow machine translation be all they do either.
Machines and humans can work to bridge language barriers and open up the world to everyone, together.
Here is a short, concise, step-by-step guide to finding a translator to meet your needs.
1- Clearly define what you need translated. The skills needed to translate a document are very different from the ones that are needed to live translate a speech. Be very clear on your needs, the size of the project, and what you expect the final results to look or sound like.
2- Set a timeline that meets your needs. If you have no urgent need, that’s fine, but put a final date on it. This will make sure that everyone has a guideline for what you need and when.
3- Look for a firm with native translators. This means that you want someone who lives in the target culture and speaks the target language every day. Someone who learned French from a book speaks a very different form of the language than someone who lives in the Pyrenees or the Central African Republic.
4- Ask for a plan. You should be provided with a plan on how the translation will happen. For example, most translation firms will use some form of machine translation for the initial work. This is a great way to speed the process, but it should be followed by having a human translator review everything. Subtleties, nuances and local vernacular are all different from country to country.
5- Ask for a project manager. If you’re having a single page translated, this might not be important, but if your project is to have a piece of software localized or have a corporate annual report translated, you will want a single point of contact that will take care of everything for you. This should be the person that you deal with. They should be able to speak to you clearly and easily.
6- Look for progress reports. Again, if there is only a single page being translated, you won’t need it, but a project of any size should have progress reports. This will allow you to see what’s happening on your project each week or so.
7- Satisfaction guarantee is a requirement. If the translation is all wrong or it’s delivered three days after you needed it done, you should be able to have a money-back guarantee. This is something that should simply be part of the company’s culture.
These are simple steps, but by using them you should do well finding a translator that you will have a great experience with. The actual locating part is a matter of using google and putting in “translation” and the languages you are translating to and from. Look for firm that is in or near the nation where your target language is spoken.
How the African Markets have grown
The African market is one which many companies deem too risky to invest into, but ever since the world cup took place with South Africa in 2010, economic growth has slowly been on the rise, and in fact in 2009 the continent’s collective GDP was equal to that of Brazil and Russia.
In the last couple of decades of the 1990s, economic growth in Africa was steady, if that, it was mostly languishing. But in the 2000s, the continent’s real GDP grew on average by 4.7% per year which was twice the rate of its growth in the previous two decades. That 2009 figure was $1.6 trillion, making Africa one of the fastest expanding economic regions, and that momentum has not slowed down.
Political troubles in some African countries such as Egypt, Libya and Tunisia have made businesses tentative about their investments, growth is still slow, and companies admit there are still risks, but the continent still enjoyed growth during the recent global economic recession, where most other continents found the opposite. Africa can no longer be ignored, and the markets are not only growing, they’re expanding.
Emerging continental markets
In 2008, Africans spent $860 billion on services and goods continent wide, which was 35% more than Indians spent in the same year. Industries such as telecommunications, banking, and retail are all experiencing exciting growth and new opportunities for economic investors and businesses alike.
The reasons for growth differ from country to country, but the rising price and demand for oil, increased interest from international companies, and privatization of some state-owned companies in certain countries have certainly added to the increase in economic scale and the opportunity to be a competitive global market for Africa. This opportunity is exciting for businesses around the world, as well as locally, where insight into the culture of African markets can only be a bonus.
Understanding the cultural environment
In order to really succeed in the markets in Africa, you really need to fully understand the cultural environments of the different markets in the different countries. For entry into a new global market anywhere in the world, a business always has to pick the right entry strategy, and in this case the business will need not only to consider the industry, but also the country, its culture, history and language. Africa is a tricky market, and while the continent is growing, it is still not without its risks. Always ensure that you have considered each business transaction with the head of a pessimist, and insist on using cash for transactions wherever possible.
The most important cultural lesson to consider when investing in Africa is the three Ps of African business: Patience, Pensiveness, and Perseverance. Always be patient, but don’t be a pushover. Think carefully and consider your opportunities before diving right in. And without being aggressive, make sure you get the result that you want, when you want it.
The continent of Africa has the highest linguistic diversity in the world, with between 1,500 and 2,000 languages spoken across its countries. These languages not only include spoken languages and dialects, but also sign languages and other forms of communication which are native to the regions. You will find some European languages dotted around, particularly in the North and the West, but an investor into the continent could not get by with English alone.
That’s where translation comes in. In order to succeed in the African markets, you will need to appreciate the cultures around you and have the ability to communicate in native languages. AfroLingo is a translation company in South Africa which offers a wide range of services which can help you to successfully enter into the African marketplace.
In the international marketplace, particularly one which is emerging as fast as Africa is, you need a reliable partner to help guide you through tricky communication process, and that is what AfroLingo is here to do.
Muhammad Ali said “I run on the road, long before I dance under the lights,” and in relation to doing business in Africa, it’s going to be a long run on the road before you can start dancing. There will be some challenges along the way, particularly because you’ll be dealing in a market which is very new to investment and interest.
Establishing a business in Africa can be expensive, particularly thanks to the average income per capita, and red tape such as construction permits and registering property will see you run into competition and strict rules, put into place in the interest of public safety. You will also need to remember that Africa is not just one country, and so taxation laws differ, as do cross border trading policies.
You’ll also find that, you might have trouble finding skilled workers, although people willing to do labor are abundant. Local customers will differ from region to region, and so before setting up your business you’ll need to really understand who your consumers will be and what they will really want. Most importantly, remember that African people are relatively new to having investment from international companies, so tread slowly, don’t try to change everything at once, and earn yourself some new consumers for giving them what they want.
Over 2,000 languages are spoken in Africa and the average African is most likely to be multilingual. The eight major languages spoken by Africans who represent roughly 10% of the world population include Arabic, Amharic, Swahili, Igbo, Hausa, Berber, Oromo and Yoruba. Given that most of the top 10 world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa, it is appalling to note that the translation revenue in Africa is only a small portion of the global translation revenue. This meagre translation revenue is largely due to the various translation industry barriers encountered by providers of African translation services.
The Main Barriers When Translating African Languages Include:-
- Lack of access to amenities such as electricity and internet
- Absence of proper education and training among translators
- Lack of linguistic equivalence in most indigenous languages
- Inability to network with other translators
- Lack of political goodwill in the advancement of indigenous languages
1- Lack of Access to Amenities Such As Electricity and Internet
Providers of African translation services unlike their counterparts in other continents such as Europe and America face glaring problems of lack of access to electricity and internet. Those who are lucky enough to have access to electricity and internet often have to contend with frequent power outages and slow internet speeds. It must be said that these challenges are slowly being tackled by development-conscious African leaders who have chosen to invest heavily in infrastructure and ICT. African translation services are therefore poised to grow rapidly should this trend of development and economic growth continue.
2- Absence of Proper Education and Training among Translators
Lack of proper education and training is a major problem that not only affects the translation industry but also other industries as well in Africa. Professional providers of African translation services have to invest heavily in educating and training their linguists and translators unlike their counterparts in other continents who have a pool of well-educated and trained citizens to choose from. That said, education continues to be a priority among most African nations. In the near future, providers of African translation services based in Africa will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting indigenous translators.
3- Lack of Linguistic Equivalence in Most Indigenous Languages
Technology and other factors have contributed to the expansion of vocabulary, terminology and competing terms among most major languages in the world. Unfortunately, most African languages are accorded poor status such that the young generation of Africans are pushed away from them. This means that most African languages do not undergo natural development but instead face extinction. Providers of African translation services often find themselves searching for linguistic equivalence in most indigenous African languages with no luck.
4- Inability to Network with Other Translators
Networking and collaboration among providers of African translation services would go a long way in promoting their services. Unfortunately, this rarely happens due to lack of access to tools such as Internet and restriction of free movement among some African nations. Fortunately, trade agreements are being signed every other day in Africa to help promote free movement of goods and people among African nations.
5- Lack of Political Goodwill in the Advancement of Indigenous Languages
The quest for rapid economic development and national integration by post-independence African leaders has led to the embrace of colonial languages such as English and French. This is to the detriment of indigenous African languages whose roles have been ignored. As such, there is little incentive among providers of African translation services to specialize in some indigenous African languages that are no longer being spoken.
AfroLingo is a leading provider of translation, content publishing, engineering and mobile localization services to clients seeking to appeal to the African market. With AfroLingo as your language service partner, you will enjoy highly competitive pricing, high quality services complete with robust quality assurance and real-time interaction with the project team handling your assignment. Microsoft, FedEx, United Nations, Google, CAT and Nokia are some of the high profile clients that have sought and continually engage the services of AfroLingo. To learn more about AfroLingo, visit our website at www.afroLingo.co.za and get a free quote today.
Africa has been dubbed the next frontier for global capitalism by many industry analysts and for good reason. The upward trajectory for Africa has already started. The average growth of African countries currently stands at 6% as other countries across the world stagnate. Africa boasts of a young population with over 50% of its population being under the age of 18. These among many reasons make various global companies such as IBM and Google throng to the promising continent. Unfortunately, there comes a problem of language barrier for global companies setting camp in Africa. Translation agencies are particularly useful for such companies looking to penetrate the over 1 billion population in Africa.
The Multiplicity Of African Languages And The Need For Translation Agencies
Unbeknownst to many people in the developed world, Africa is actually a continent with 54 different countries. There are roughly between two thousand and three thousand languages spoken in Africa. Global companies need not to panic about translating their source languages to these thousands of different languages because only 12 of these languages are spoken by 75% of the 1 billion population. The primary languages spoken in Africa are Arabic, Swahili, Berber, Amharic, Oromo, Somali, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. To penetrate the African market, global companies need to hire professional translation agencies or professional translation companies that have specialized in these primary African languages. So what exactly should you look for to tell good translation companies and good translation agencies from the mediocre ones?
What Makes Good Translation Agencies In Africa Tick
The translation market in Africa has been steadily growing in recent years, with South Africa leading the rest of the African countries in translation growth. The growth in the translation market in Africa reflects the growing need of translation services in South Africa and other countries. While there are several translation agencies and translation companies in Africa, there are some that stand above the rest. Good translation agencies in Africa are known to have robust quality assurance processes, dedicated project management teams, native translators with advanced educational backgrounds, a portfolio of global brand names as part of their clientele and highly competitive pricing. Let us now take a look at the important role of translation agencies when it comes to African languages.
The Challenges Facing Translation In Africa And The Need For Professional Translation Companies
It is not easy to operate as a translation company in Africa. The challenges are even worse for freelancers. The challenges revolve lack of access banking and money transfer facilities, lack of access to necessary information and tools and political unrest. These challenges are severe in most cases that freelancers end up delivering low quality translation. While these challenges are being addressed by most African governments, there is still a long way to go. Translation agencies and translation companies, unlike freelancers, are better poised to operate in spite of these challenges due to their capacities. Most of them operate in South Africa. South Africa is one of the few countries in Africa that has been able to adequately address most of these challenges. It is not surprising therefore that professional translation services in South Africa is booming business.
How Good Profession Translation Companies Will Help You Penetrate The African Market
Good professional translation companies in Africa will give you access to a comprehensive localization process complete with:-
- Translation of at least 5 primary African languages such as Amharic, Swahili, Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans.
- Specialized in-house project management teams made up of experienced native translators, quality assurance engineers, software engineers and business analysts.
- Content publishing, traditionally referred to as Desktop publishing and to latest translation software tools.
- Value-adding mobile localization for mobile phone software, PDA operating systems, user guides and social media platforms given that the youthful Africa audience prefers social media communication that is accessible via smart phones.
The Answer To Your Translation Needs In Africa
If you are looking for a good professional translation company in Africa, AfroLingo is your best choice. AfroLingo is a leading provider of translation services in South Africa and Kenya. It boasts of having served brand names such as Google, Microsoft, United Nations, Samsung, Nokia and CAT. To learn more about Afro Lingo, visit their website at: http://afrolingo.co.ke/ .
Reading is without a doubt the one sure way of keeping your brain active when learning a language. It is no surprise that the most adept experts of Amharic translation often read both Amharic and the target languages very often.
Amharic Translation Overview
Being the second most widely spoken Semitic language after Arabic, it is not surprising to note that the twenty five million speakers of the language would want to give Amharic translation a try. Indeed the task may seem like a walk in the park for beginners who plunge into Amharic translation head-first without knowing the consequences of poor work. Amharic translation is indeed a Sisyphean task and should be treated with due respect. There are certain tips that can guide beginners in this art. The following are some of the most helpful for beginner Amharic translators:-
Acquire More Historical Knowledge
Having thorough historical knowledge of a language may seem extremely irrelevant but is the first and most important aspect of successful Amharic translation. This is because it gives you a comprehensive understanding of the use of the language as a whole and helps you develop a clear understanding of its grammar. It is essential to know about its family and how it relates and differs from other Semitic languages of the Afro-Asiatic family.
Clear Understand Its Written Form
Most fluent speakers of Amharic can try their hand at Amharic translation just from their knowledge alone of Fidel, Amharic’s script. This unique writing system uses each character as an amalgamation of a consonant and vowel. Deciphering this can be quite daunting to a beginner first trying to translate Amharic. The trained eye however can completely ignore the vowel symbols and use the three consonant roots in a character to discover the meaning of the character. Therefore, understanding this writing system will go a long way in helping a beginner Amharic translator.
Know Its Grammar Inside Out
One of the tenets of the English language is that the subject has to agree with the verb. This rule also holds true in the Amharic language. The subject-verb agreement rule is just one of the many similarities Amharic shares with English. One venturing into Amharic-to-English translation will indeed enjoy this shortcut.
Keep Basic Conversation In Mind
To be successful at Amharic translation, you ought to know the basic conversational skills in both Amharic and your target language. You should be in a position to translate basic greetings, introductions, food and numbers at a moment’s notice both in written and spoken text. This will truly help you in mastering the art of Amharic translation.
Read, Future Amharic Translation Experts!
Reading is without a doubt the one sure way of keeping your brain active when learning a language. It is no surprise that the most adept experts of Amharic translation often read both Amharic and the target languages very often. This is one area where native speakers often go wrong as they stop reading the texts in their language. Libraries are full of Amharic texts. You should dive into these books just as much as books in your target language if you want to be successful at Amharic translation.
Seeking professional Zulu-to-English translation is your best bet for quality when translating this beautiful language”
The Bantu migration is among the most magnanimous expansion of a community in the history of the world. The Bantu speakers trace their origin to an area between modern Cameroon and Eastern Nigeria. The core of the group dissipated as different groups sought to migrate to different areas in Africa. Some went north, others east, others west while some took to south. Among the group that went south are the Zulu speakers. They firmly established themselves in South Africa and developed a fascinating culture. Perhaps this intrigued the Christian missionaries who learnt to write in ther language. They were the ones who made Zulu-to-English translation possible.
Before seeking Zulu-to-English translation services, it is a great idea to understand a little bit about the Zulu culture. Its rich culture helps make Zulu one of the most popular Bantu languages in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Bible was the first book written in the language and it is a good idea to reference it when translating Zulu into English.
Language is by far the biggest indicator of how strong the culture of a community is. The fact that more than 24 percent of South Africans speak Zulu currently shows how solid Zulu culture is. It is among the eleven official languages in South Africa. This makes Zulu-to-English translation less of a challenge for sure since the language is so ubiquitous. However, the wise choice remains choosing a professional team for your translation services. With an for standards, these teams uphold highest quality in their Zulu-to-English translation services.
The Zulu language has a plethora of unique features. This makes the exercise of Zulu-to-English translation quite interesting. Translators should brace themselves for the peculiar and exciting words that appear in Zulu-to-English translation. Prefixes are used on almost every word. This will be among the first things one will notice will creating a Zulu-to-English translation. Even nouns are given prefixes. That is why the language itself is popularly referred to as “isiZulu”.
Since the Zulu language’s written form is based on Latin, it bears many similarities with the English language. Zulu-to-English translation is therefore not an extremely arduous task. South African English has also been customized to include certain Zulu words. Zulu-to-English translation for a South African audience is therefore quite simplified. Click sounds in the language will not escape one’s ear when conducting spoken Zulu to English translation. These are represented by letters c, q and x by professional Zulu-to-English translation experts.
A number of key factors make Zulu-to-English translation possible, particularly the popularity and wide usage of the language. Seeking professional Zulu-to-English translation is your best bet for quality when translating this beautiful language.
The theory of evolution asserts that language developed when early hominids started living in groups. Millions of years later, various types of languages have sprung up while others have withered away against harsh conditions. Languages are spoken among individuals living in a particular region. The Afrikaans language is one such language that has enabled immigrants in the southern parts of Africa to communicate. It borrows a great deal from the Dutch language. Therefore, an Afrikaans translation exercise supported by a solid grasp of Dutch will likely be a huge success.
Native speakers of the language reside in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. All these countries are found in the southern region in Africa. This modified form of Dutch is of the Indo-European family, Germanic group and West Germanic sub group. Though not particularly eclectic, it also drew influences from other settlers from Malaya, Indonesia, Madagascar and the western side of the African continent. However, the language is primarily Dutch. ‘Afrikaans’ in Dutch means ‘African’. Dutch speakers can therefore try their luck in translating Afrikaans. There are certain subtle differences however that need to be ironed out before one can attempt to translate Afrikaans.
qualified Afrikaans translation expert acknowledges the existence of three distinct varieties of the language. These varieties are influenced by the region in which the language is spoken. The regions are Eastern Cape, Cape and Orange River. The Eastern Cape Afrikaans dialect also known as the Standard Afrikaans dialect became the predominant dialect. The other dialects are still in existence but are slowly fizzling out. Most Afrikaans translation is therefore done in relation to the Eastern Cape Afrikaans dialect.
One major milestone in the establishment of the Afrikaans language in the southern Africa region was the translation of the entire Bible into Afrikaans. Prior to this, the Christian faithful had to rely on the Dutch version of the Bible in their worship. The Afrikaans translation of the Bible made the roots of the language grow deeper. Efforts to establish it as the official language of instruction in schools met violent resistance by the local people and ceased. Nevertheless, it has stood the test of time and is now one of the official languages of South Africa. Approximately 13 percent of the population speaks Afrikaans conversationally, i.e. a pool of speakers to immerse yourself in while working as a translator.
Since it is largely influenced by Dutch, Afrikaans translation experts are also familiar with this language as well. There are still many differences between the two languages, however. The Afrikaans language does not have grammatical gender distinction, where Dutch does. Afrikaans is also known for its simplicity: its adjectives, for instance, are emphasized quite often even if they have no place in the message the speaker is trying to convey. Unlike the English language, the Afrikaans language allows the use of double negatives. This makes translating Afrikaans intriguing to the intellectual translator.
Proper Afrikaans translation should be conducted by someone with a proper understanding of Dutch. Since Dutch is a little bit more complicated, Afrikaans translation should be a piece of cake. Even though some call it an ugly language, the Afrikaans and Afrikaans translation are here to stay.
There are over 3000 languages spoken natively in Africa. In several major language families:
- Afro-asiatic spread throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel
- Nilo-Saharan is centered on Sudan and Chad (disputed validity)
- Niger–Congo (Bantu) covers West, Central, and Southeast Africa
- Khoe is concentrated in the deserts of Namibia and Botswana
- Austronesian on Madagascar.
- Indo-European on the southern tip of the continent.
Several African languages are whistled or drummed to communicate over long distances.
Official and national Languages
Other spoken Languages
Berber languages, four dialects (by constitutional amendment)
|Angola||Portuguese||Narrow Bantu like Umbundu and other African languages.|
|Benin||French||Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north).|
|Botswana||Setswana (national language with minor differences in dialects), English is the official business language and it is widely spoken in urban areas.|
|Burkina Faso||French||Native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population.|
|Burundi||Kirundi, French||Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area).|
|Cameroon||English, French||24 major African language groups.|
|Cape Verde||Portuguese||Kabuverdianu (Crioulo) (a blend of Portuguese and West African words).|
|Central African Republic||French, Sangho (lingua franca and national language)||Banda, Gbaya and other tribal languages.|
|Chad||French, Arabic||Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects.|
|Comoros||Arabic, French||Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic).|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||French||Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba.|
|Congo, Republic of the||French||Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread).|
|Côte d’Ivoire||French||60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken.|
|Djibouti||French, Arabic||Somali, Afar|
|Egypt||Arabic||English and French widely understood by educated classes.|
|Equatorial Guinea||Spanish, French||pidgin English, Fang, Bubi, Ibo.|
|Eritrea||Tigrinya (Tigrigna), Arabic, English||Tigré (second major language), Afar, Bedawi, Kunama, other Cushitic languages.|
|Ethiopia||Amharic||Tigrinya, Oromo, Gurage, Somali, Arabic, 80 other local languages, English (major foreign language taught in schools)|
|Gabon||French||Bantu languages like Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi.|
|Gambia, The||English||Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars.|
|Ghana||English||African languages (including Akan, Adangme, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)|
|Guinea||French (spoken by 15-20%)||Eight national languages, Soussou (Susu, in coastal Guinea), Peulh (Fulani, in Northrn Guinea), Maninka (Upper Guinea), Kissi (Kissidougou Region), Toma and Guerze (Kpelle) in rain forest Guinea; plus various ethnic groups with their own language.|
|Guinea-Bissau||Portuguese||Crioulo (a mixture of Portuguese and African), other African languages.|
|Kenya||English, Kiswahili||numerous indigenous languages.|
|Lesotho||Sesotho (southern Sotho), English||Zulu, Xhosa.|
|Liberia||English 20%||some 20 ethnic group languages, of which a few can be written and are used in correspondence.|
|Libya||Arabic||Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities.|
|Malawi||English, Nyanja (Chichewa, Chewa)||Lomwe, Tumbuka, Yao, other languages important regionally.|
|Mali||French||Bambara (Bamanakan), Arabic and numerous dialects of Dogoso, Fulfulde, Koyracini, Senoufou, and Mandinka/Malinké (Maninkakan), Tamasheq are also widely spoken.|
|Mauritania||Arabic||Hassaniya Arabic, Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof, French|
|Mauritius||English, French||Creole, Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri|
|Morocco||Arabic||Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy.|
|Mozambique||Portuguese (spoken by 27% of population as a second language)||Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena, numerous other indigenous languages.|
|Namibia||English 7%||Afrikaans common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population, German 32%, indigenous languages: Oshivambo, Herero, Nama.|
|Nigeria||English||Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, Ijaw, Ibibio and about 250 other indigenous languages spoken by the different ethnic groups.|
|Réunion||French||Creole widely used|
|Rwanda||Rwanda (Kinyarwanda, Bantu vernacular) French, English||Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers.|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||Portuguese|
|Senegal||French||Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka|
|Sierra Leone||English (regular use limited to literate minority)||Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)|
|Somalia||Somali||Arabic, Italian, English|
|South Africa||11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, Pedi, Sesotho (Sotho), siSwati (Swazi), Xitsonga (Tsonga), Tswana, Tshivenda (Venda), isiXhosa, isiZulu|
|Sudan/South Sudan||Arabic||Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages, English. note: program of “Arabization” in process|
|Swaziland||English (government business conducted in English), siSwati|
|Tanzania, United Republic of||Kiswahili (Swahili), Kiunguju (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education)||Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), Gogo, Haya, Makonde, Nyakyusa, Nyamwezi, Sukuma, Tumbuka, many other local languages.|
|Togo||French (the language of commerce)||Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north)|
|Tunisia||Arabic (and the languages of commerce)||French (commerce)|
|Uganda||English (used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts)||Ganda (Luganda; most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages, preferred for native language publications), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Acoli, Swahili, Arabic|
|Western Sahara||Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic|
|Zambia||English||major vernaculars: Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages.|
|Zimbabwe||English||Chishona (Shona), Sindebele (Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects like: Sotho and Nambya, Shangani, Venda, Chewa, Nyanja, and Tonga.|