Africa speaks English

THE 5 Ws
3 October 2017
Bilingual infants grow into adults with an edge
11 October 2017

Not all languages spoken in Europe are European, and not all languages spoken in Africa are African. This applies to all continents and is the result of language colonisation.

Topping the list of the most common non-Indo-European languages in Europe are Arabic, Chinese and Hindi, mainly as a result of recent migration flows. Each of these languages has its own alphabet, which is different from the one used by the major European languages.

However, south of the Mediterranean Sea, Africa takes the crown for the highest degree of European language penetration.

According to a detailed map published by the Italian geopolitical magazine “Limes”, a huge number of autochthonous languages and dialects are spoken, but surprisingly the first most spoken language in Africa is English, followed by French and Portuguese, which were the languages of the main colonising countries, followed by Dutch in some areas of Western Africa, and even Italian.

Italian is still spoken in Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Libya and Sudan, where Italian language TV programmes are broadcast.