First, let's tackle the elephant in the room. 

Do Africans speak the same language?

No. Africa is a continent with 2000 plus distinct languages which are spoken across 54 countries.

Is there a language called African language?

No. It is a generic term that refers to all languages spoken in Africa.   It is like saying European language or South American language.

What are the ten most spoken languages in Africa?

Are African languages similar?

No, and Yes. Why?

No, because the languages of Africa are very diverse and belong to different language families; while some are unique, they can't be classified into any family.

Yes, because languages in the same family tend to have some similarities. For example, almost all Bantu(--NTU) languages ( spoken in  Central, Southern, Eastern Africa, and Southeast Africa ) have subject-verb-object word order syntax. 

Exciting Topics about African Languages

☑️ Lonely languages: the isolates of Africa.

☑️ 6 Constructed languages of Africa: protip, you can make one.

☑️  Language Glossary: terminologies simply explained

Which country has the most spoken languages in Africa?


More than 500 native African languages are spoken in Nigeria. This excludes Nigerian pidgin and the many foreign languages spoken in the country. Check the no of native languages per country section for a comprehensive breakdown.

How many languages are spoken in Africa?

According to our database, 2150 languages are spoken in Africa, and 50 languages are extinct. We continue to add and update the status of the languages as we collect and receive more data.

Number of languages per country

Country No of Native Languages
Nigeria 523
Congo, DRC 214
Cameroon 210
Tanzania 134
Chad 131
Côte d'Ivoire 92
Ethiopia 88
Ghana 84
Sudan 79
Central African Republic 77
Kenya 74
South Sudan 67
Zambia 67
Burkina Faso 66
Mali 65
Congo 63
Benin 55
Togo 48
Angola 47
Senegal 47
Mozambique 45
Uganda 45
Gabon 43
Guinea 43
South Africa 36
Botswana 30
Namibia 30
Liberia 27
Niger 24
Sierra Leone 24
Guinea-Bissau 23
Zimbabwe 21
Madagascar 20
Gambia 17
Equatorial Guinea 16
Algeria 15
Malawi 14
Somalia 13
Eritrea 12
Libya 12
Mauritania 10
Egypt 9
Mauritius 9
Morocco 9
Comoros 8
Eswatini 6
Sao Tome and Principe 6
Tunisia 6
Djibouti 5
Lesotho 5
Burundi 4
Rwanda 4
Cape Verde 2
Seychelles 2



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We are on a mission to document and preserve all native languages in Africa and help many people learn these languages while at it.

Join the movement by adding a definition in your mother tongue.

If you can help us accomplish this mission in any other way, say provide recordings or written text of your language or suggest corrections/additions to the data on this page, feel free to reach out to us here: [email protected].

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