Program in African Languages (PAL)


Akan is a language group spoken by related peoples mainly in Ghana and eastern Côte d’Ivoire.


Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in North Central Ethiopia by the Amhara. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.


Arabic is the language of an ancient civilization and today is spoken widely across North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula. Arabic is also the liturgical language of more than a billion Muslims, and it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.


Swahili is spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Indian Ocean coastline from southern Somalia to northern Mozambique, including the Comoros Islands. Swahili is also a lingua franca of much of East Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a national or official language of four nations, and is the only language of African origin among the official working languages of the African Union.


Wolof is a language spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania. Wolof is the most widely spoken language in Senegal.


Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa. It is spoken by approximately 7.9 million people, or about 18% of the South African population.


Yoruba is a language of West Africa with over 25 million speakers. It is spoken, among other languages, in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo and traces of it are found among communities in Brazil, Sierra Leone, northern Ghana and Cuba.