Sunday, 5 August 2012

The estimated number of speakers of the Botswana languages


The estimated number of speakers of the Botswana languages (after Batibo et al. 2003)

Language Estimated/number of speakers/Percentage of speakers
1 Setswana 1,335,000 78.6%
2 Ikalanga 150,000 8.83%
3 Shekgalagarhi(including Shengologa) 48,000 2.82%
4 Thimbukushu 30,000 1.76%
5 Shiyeyi 18,000 1.06%
6 Nambya (Najwa) 15,000 0.88%
7 Sebirwa 12,500 0.73%
8 Zezuru (Shona) 12,000 0.70%
9 Otjiherero 11,500 0.67%
10 *Naro 10,000 0.59%
11 Sindebele 9,000 0.53%
12 Afrikaans 7,500 0.44%
13 Chikuhane (Sesubiya) 7,000 0.41%
14 Setswapong 6,000 0.35%
15 *Shua 6,000 0.035%
16 *!Xo@o) 5,000 0.29%
17 *Tshwa 5,000 0.29%
18 *Khwedam 4,500 0.27%
19 *Juñ’hoan 4,500 0.27%
20 Silozi (Serotsi) 3,000 0.02%
21 Sekgoa (English) 3,000 0.002%
22 *Kua 2,500 0.015%
23 *úKx’auÑ’ein 2,500 0.015%
24 Rugciriku (Rumanyo) 2,300 0.14%
25 *ÑGana 1,300 0.008%
26 *Nama (Khoekhoegowab) 1,000 0.006%
27 *ñGwi 1,000 0.006%
28 *úHua 200 0.001%
Total 1,703,300 99.53%
The Naro language has benefited from a vigorous project, known as Naro Language Project (NLP) which was started in the 1980s by the Reformed Church in D’kar village, western Botswana. The primary aims of the Project were to describe the language system, to promote literacy among the speakers and to translate the Bible into Naro. The activities of the Project were boosted in 1991 with the arrival of a Dutch linguist and missionary, Mr Hessel Visser and his wife, Coby Visser. The couple started to work tirelessly on the Naro language with the main aim of documenting it for community use and missionary activities.

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