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Americans Can and Should Be Learning African Languages

Evan Fleischer | Quartz   in 
November 11, 2015

More Americans should learn to speak languages native to the African continent. There is a small, statistical base of speakers in the country—according to the 2011 US census, 884,660 individuals aged five years or older already speak a language originating in Africa. But we could have so much more.

Arguably, the most useful, indigenous African languages for Americans to learn are Yoruba (primarily spoken in Nigeria), Xhosa (South Africa), Swahili (Kenya, Tanzania, and much of East Africa), and Amharic (mainly Ethiopia). Four languages out of approximately 2,000 on a continent of 1.1 billion—but together, they share 210 million speakers.


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