South Africa’s constitution recognizes eleven official languages, only two of them Western in origin–English and Afrikaans. The rest are part of the Bantu group, a collection of over 500 related African languages that originated in West Africa two thousand years ago that spread across the continent, primarily to the East and South. English is the common public language, though it is far from the most common language spoken privately. Afrikaans is still the primary language in the western third of South Africa, even though it retains some stigma of its connection with the Apartheid past.
Languages of South Africa | More about Bantu languages | More about Zulu | More about Afrikaans
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