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African Languages

The African continent forms one of the most complex linguistic areas of the world; estimates of the number of languages spoken there range from seven hundred to three thousand. Barely ... ...

African Languages

African Languages   Reference library

International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
2,488 words
Illustration(s):
2

...Africa, have spread over areas almost as large as Europe (see Heine 1970 ). Some have assumed the role of de facto national languages, e.g. Swahili in Kenya, Sango in Central Africa, Bambara (a variety of Maninka) in Mali, and Wolof in Senegal. Map 2. Lingua Francas of Africa See also Adamawa-Ubangi Languages ; Afroasiatic Languages ; Amharic ; Arabic ; Atlantic Languages ; Benue-Congo Languages ; Central Sudanic Languages ; Edoid Languages ; Ekoid Languages ; Fula ; Gur Languages ; Hausa ; Khoisan Languages ; Kwa Languages ; Mande Languages ;...

West African languages

West African languages   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
74 words

...African languages Those of a geographical area, often similar in structure but historically fragmented: larger genetic relationships have been and are still in dispute. For specific groupings see Benue-Congo ; Chadic ; Gur ; Kru ; Kwa ; Mande ; West Atlantic languages . The administrative and other use of English or French largely coincides with boundaries between former colonies. The distribution of indigenous languages, even when one is dominant in a political unit, for the most part does...

West African Languages

West African Languages   Reference library

The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Literature
Length:
1,859 words

...African Languages i. Written Texts While English translations of African oral literary traditions are numerous, there are few English translations of creative writing in African languages. A translation appeared in 1968 by Wole Soyinka of a novel written in Yoruba in 1938 by D. O. Fagunwa . The richly evocative translation was entitled The Forest of a Thousand Daemons . Fagunwa's Yoruba novels were a major influence upon the development of later Yoruba writing. The first part of the story follows the hero, Akara-Ogun, on a journey of encounters with...

East African Languages

East African Languages   Reference library

The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Literature
Length:
2,357 words

...African Languages Noteworthy English translations of literatures from East Africa commenced in the second half of the 19th c., mainly by missionaries, and primarily from Swahili, the lingua franca of the region and now the national language of Tanzania and Kenya. Significant contributions in this field came from two missionaries resident on the Swahili coast: Bishop Edward Steere ( d. 1882 ), of the Universities Mission to Central Africa based in Zanzibar, and the Revd W. E. Taylor ( d. 1927 ), of the Church Missionary Society based in Mombasa. i....

Languages, African: An Overview

Languages, African: An Overview   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Africa

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies, History, Regional and National History
Length:
2,005 words
Illustration(s):
1

..., African: An Overview Languages indigenous to the African continent. Estimates of the number of languages spoken in Africa range from 700 to 3,000. Apart from Arabic, which is not confined to Africa, the most widely spoken African tongues are Swahili and Hausa, each with more than twenty million speakers. Several languages (often inaccurately termed dialects simply because they have few users) are spoken by only a few thousand people. The average African language has about 200,000 speakers, and only a few dozen have more than one million speakers....

Introduction to African Languages

Introduction to African Languages   Reference library

The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Literature
Length:
1,847 words

...to African Languages Literature in African languages encompasses both oral and written literary traditions. Much of the writing in African languages remains untranslated into English, and a number of writers have pinned their literary hopes upon writing in African languages rather than in English, notable amongst them Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o [I.a.6.i]. Translation has been a notable feature, however, in a number of African language literatures, but from English, French, or Russian into African languages, following the ubiquitous exemplars of a hundred...

African Languages and Literatures

African Languages and Literatures   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Religion, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
8,130 words

... Languages and Literatures . [ This entry contains two subentries: East Africa West Africa ] East Africa Islam was brought to the peoples of eastern Africa mainly by settlers who arrived either by land, traveling up the Nile, or by sea, crossing the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean. Since the conquest of Egypt ( 641 ce ), the cultures of many East African peoples have become entirely Islamic. Some nations, such as Ethiopia, were only partially Islamized because Islam became dominant only in part of their territory, or only in the cities. But most African...

African Languages and Literature

African Languages and Literature   Reference library

Silvia Bruzzi, Mervyn Hiskett, Fallou Ngom, and Silvia Bruzzi

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Religion, Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
2,378 words

... Languages and Literature . [ This entry includes two subentries: East Africa and West Africa . ] East Africa The study of languages and literatures in East Africa demonstrates the complexity of the different forms of texts, as well as the relationship between literacy and orality in the region ( Barnes and Carmichael, 2006 . ). Oral forms of language and literature have been at the heart of rich linguistic, historical, anthropological, and ethno-musicological studies for decades, whereas Islamic literate culture has only recently received greater...

West African Manuscripts in Arabic and African Languages and Digital Preservation

West African Manuscripts in Arabic and African Languages and Digital Preservation   Reference library

Fallou Ngom

The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Historiography: Methods and Sources

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
History, Regional and National History, Archaeology
Length:
10,408 words
Illustration(s):
13

...African Manuscripts in Arabic and African Languages and Digital Preservation Without writers, the charted paths would fade away. Without orators, knowledge would be less widespread. Without lecturers, the masses would be snoring. And they would never wake up until it is too late. —Muusaa Ka Besides sources that result from the colonial encounter (those in European languages and African languages written in Roman script), 1 the overwhelming majority of West African manuscripts uncovered to date consist of documents written in Arabic and Ajami (African...

African Languages

African Languages  

The African continent forms one of the most complex linguistic areas of the world; estimates of the number of languages spoken there range from seven hundred to three thousand. Barely ...
West African Languages

West African Languages  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
I. Written TextsWhile English translations of African oral literary traditions are numerous, there are few English translations of creative writing in African languages. A translation appeared in ...
East African Languages

East African Languages  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
Noteworthy English translations of literatures from East Africa commenced in the second half of the 19th c., mainly by missionaries, and primarily from Swahili, the lingua franca of the region ...
Languages of South Africa

Languages of South Africa   Reference library

The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Literature
Length:
2,101 words

...the 20th c. a steady stream of African folklore in English has appeared, most eminently in four of the volumes of the Oxford Library of African Literature that presented South African texts with facing translations: three dealt with praise poetry, Schapera ( 1965 ) on Tswana, Cope ( 1968 ) on Zulu, and Damane and Sanders ( 1974 ) on Southern Sotho, one, Scheub ( 1975 ) on Xhosa, treated folk-tales. In addition to those works already mentioned, most of the major oral genres and most of the languages are now represented in translation through works such as...

Fiction, English-Language, in Africa

Fiction, English-Language, in Africa   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Africa

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

...English-Language, in Africa Overview of African literature written in English. Since the 1960s African literature in English has garnered increasing international attention and literary awards and has made its way into classrooms worldwide. The novels of writers such as Chinua Achebe , Wole Soyinka , Ama Ata Aidoo , Ngugi wa Thiong’o , and Nadine Gordimer have introduced readers to histories and cultures still poorly understood outside of Africa. In contrast to the ethnographies and travelers’ accounts that long shaped the West’s images of Africa,...

Literature, French-Language, in Africa

Literature, French-Language, in Africa   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Africa

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

...a result, the language of the European colonizer assumed in each territory a commanding position due as much to its promotion by official policy as to the advantage it enjoyed as the only common language among the colonized African population. Colonial Legacy The French controlled most of the Sahel region in West Africa as well as much of the West African coast and the Congo basin in Central Africa. For administrative convenience, the territories within this region were grouped into two federations, Afrique Occidentale Française (French West Africa) and Afrique...

Literature, Portuguese-Language, in Africa

Literature, Portuguese-Language, in Africa   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Africa

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

...Portuguese-language literature is unique in Africa. This is especially true because of the literature’s Brazilian influences, which are in some cases combined with Afro-Cuban and African American influences. Because Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking country, Brazilian literature had a stronger impact on Lusophone-African writers than did the literature from nearby African countries, where French and English were the dominant languages. Not only was Portuguese-language literature in Africa the first African literature in a European language, it also proved...

The Politics of Language Education in Africa

The Politics of Language Education in Africa   Reference library

Russell H. Kaschula and Michael M. Kretzer

The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
8,237 words
Illustration(s):
2

...in Zimbabwe and South Africa. The use of African languages on the continent therefore remains a contested domain. While some countries have emphasized the use of African languages, resulting for example in the growth of dominant languages such as Kiswahili, other countries have adopted a monolingual or at best bilingual approach. There is what one could term a “yo-yo” effect on the continent with countries vacillating between the exoglossic language and African languages. South Africa, for example emphasizes the African languages in its constitution but in...

Languages of South Africa

Languages of South Africa  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
South Africa was very well served by collectors of folklore active in the 19th c., largely missionaries, persons associated with mission education, or colonial administrators. Publications by W. H. ...
Literature, French-Language, in Africa

Literature, French-Language, in Africa  

French is the official language of nineteen states in Africa, from Senegal in the extreme west, through the republics that border the Congo River in the heart of the continent ...
Literature, Portuguese-Language, in Africa

Literature, Portuguese-Language, in Africa  

Prose, poetry, and drama written in Portuguese by black, mixed-race, and some white writers in the former colonies of Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe.Although ...

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