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Languages of Angola: Wikis


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Languages of Angola
Official language Portuguese
National languages Ju, Kimbundu, Kongo, Kung, Kwadi, Kwanyama, Lunda, Ndonga, Oshiwambo, Umbundu, Yauma
Main foreign languages French, English

Using the data from the 1983 census of Angola, Portuguese is both the official and predominant language in the black, mestiço and white populations, as it is spoken in the homes of about two-thirds of the population and as a second language by many more throughout the country. Of the 60% Portuguese native speakers, half could speak only Portuguese, while the other half spoke a Bantu language as a second tongue.[1]

About 40% of Angolans speak Bantu languages as their first languages, many more as second language, Although younger urban generations and some sectors of the Angolan society are moving towards the exclusive use of Portuguese. The most spoken Bantu languages are Kimbundu, Umbundu, and Kikongo (all of these have many Portuguese-derived words). Cubans speak Spanish, but few of their descendants have held on to it. Blacks from Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal speak English, French, and their native African languages, aside from Portuguese. Selected number of Arab Angolans of Lebanese descent speak Arabic and/or French. The foreign language mostly learned by Angolans is English.

Angola is quite anomalous in black Africa as a country where the colonial language has become a vernacular language and even largely displaced the indigenous languages.

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