Module Eight, Activity Two

 Languages in Africa

Important aspects of cultures are the languages that people speak. In this activity, two different maps are used to show the African languages and colonial languages that are spoken in Africa.

Language is an important part of culture. It is connected to, and inseparable from, the ways people think and view the world. Language is the way a group of people communicates representations of the world around them. These representations and the ways they are communicated vary from group to group, thus forming different languages. Language is also changing all the time-even today! As we explore the history and relationships of languages in these two maps, this will become more evident.

On the attached maps, you will see that many languages are spoken in Africa. Each of these languages is spoken by groups of people who number anywhere from less than 100,000 (Nama in Namibia) to as many as 50 million (Hausa in Nigeria and Niger). Regardless of the size of the group speaking the language, each language provides a mechanism through which beliefs and values are transmitted in conversations, songs, poems, stories, history and religious beliefs and practices.

Go on to Activity Three or go to one of the other activities in this module