This is a page to gather useful information about African languages in Wikimedia projects, in order to increase the number of writers on the continent itself. Specifically African languages with many speakers, but not many writers, so excluding French, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic and Afrikaans, which have fairly active Wikipedias already.
Si tu veux tu peux écrire en français ici, soit on traduira les phrases en anglais, soit on créera une traduction en français.
The term African languages refers to the approximately 1800 languages spoken in Africa. Some African languages, such as Swahili, Hausa, and Yoruba, are spoken by millions of people. Others, such as Laal, Shabo, and Dahalo, are spoken by a few hundred or fewer.
Generally, books are expensive in Africa. Many languages have a purely oral tradition. Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects are an excellent way to improve the situation of African languages.
Would you be willing to help develop the presence of African languages on Wikipedia and Wiktionary? That is, to help set up Wikipedias in African languages, and to accelerate the process of adding words to the Wiktionaries.
In which languages are you able to write? Also, since you're studying, you might know more people who are interested in a project like this.
- basic knowledge of Bambara
- in possession of Bambara-French, French-Bambara dictionary
- English, German, French, Dutch, little Spanish
- currently in Mali
- learning Lingala
- in possession of French-Bangala-Lingala dictionary, three Lingala teaching books and a Lingala dictionary
- French, English, little Dutch, intermediary Spanish
- learning kinyarwanda
- english-kinyarwanda (tiny) dictionnary, one teaching book
- French, English, German, little Spanish
- currently in Switzerland
- A12n 14:59, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
- grrr... 16:29, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
- Malagasy as native language.
- Malagasy language dictionary : Rakibolana Malagasy, 1985 Ed. ; online Malagasy language dictionaries
- French (fluent), English (fluent), Spanish.
- Currently in Paris (France).
Wikipedias set up
A list with all african language Wikipedias and up to date article numbers: see here. The table lists article counts spanning several months.
|Language||April 2011 (Number of articles)||November 2011 (Number of articles)||Juin 2012 (Number of articles)|
|Chi Chewa (ny)||129||133||140|
|Gĩkũyũ or Kikuyu (ki)||111||115||198|
|Kiswahili or Swahili (sw)||21,000||22,310||24,054|
Closed (and in incubator)
- Sepedi (nso)
Words in Wiktionary
- Mots swahilis dans Wiktionnaire >500
- Mots français avec une traduction en swahili
- English words with a Swahili translation
Number of speakers
|name||number of speakers (millions)|
|Swahili (Southeast Africa)||5-10 native + 80 secondary|
|Hausa (West Africa)||40 native + 15 secondary|
|Oromo (East Africa)||30-35|
|Yoruba (West Africa)||25|
|Amharic (East Africa)||25|
|Ibibio (Ibibio/Annang/Efik, Nigeria)||8-12|
|Fula (West Africa)||10-16|
|Zulu (South Africa)||10|
|Afrikaans (South Africa)||10|
|Chichewa (East Africa)||9|
|Xhosa (South Africa)||8|
|Wolof||3 native + 3 secondary|
|More (West Africa)||5|
|Kirundi (Central Africa)||5|
|Sotho (South Africa)||5|
|Tswana (Southern Africa)||4|
|Kanuri (West Africa)||4|
|Northern Sotho (South Africa)||4|
|(there are lots of missing languages with smaller communities, and the estimations above may be very inaccurate)|
|Total number of people in this table||about 538|
|Total number of people in Africa||about 900|
- Article (in English) on African languages in Wikipedia, New York Times, 2006-08-26 (old, may be inaccessible, or no longer relevant to the current situation)
- Wikipedia statistics (in English) per language
- List of languages by total speakers
- PanAfriL10n wiki - a resource for localization and other work on African languages & ICT
- PanAfriL10n list of "Major languages" of Africa (includes discussion of category and links to alternative lists)
- PanAfriL10n page for other languages of Africa not in the "Major languages" section