The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a country belonging to Africa, whose capital is Abuja. It is the 7th most populous country in the world (191 million inhabitants) and the 32nd largest (923,768 km 2). Its human development index is low (152º) and its official currency is the naira. And what language is spoken in Nigeria?
What language do they speak in Nigeria?
Nigeria only has one official language, English, as part of the legacy of the British Colony of Nigeria that ended in 1960. It was then chosen as a way to facilitate the cultural and linguistic cohesion of the Nigerian country.
However, the particularity of this African country is in its unofficial languages: up to 519 languages are spoken in Nigeria (not counting 7 that have already become extinct). This figure is caused by the fact that the majority of the Nigerian population resides in rural areas, thus maintaining strong internal communication in indigenous languages. It is the third country with the largest number of living languages, behind Papua New Guinea (841) and Indonesia (707). The top-5 is completed by India (448) and China (299).
The most common indigenous languages are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Edo, Fula, Kanuri and Igala, the first three being the major languages.
The lack of updated and reliable data makes it difficult to speak of an exact number of speakers for each language; thus, estimates are considered in this article.
Map of indigenous languages of Nigeria
Some of the most widely spoken languages, such as Igbo and Yoruba, have managed to standardize their respective languages, since several different dialects were spoken.Hausa is the most widely spoken indigenous language, but unlike Igbo and Yoruba, Hausa tend not to travel far from the Nigerian country.
The English language
English (English ) is spoken by a third of the population, approximately 63 million. Due to Francophone bordering countries, the English spoken in Nigeria has many influences from French. It is the language used extensively in education, in business operations and for official purposes.
English is more popular in urban regions than in rural ones, due to colonization. The predominance of languages in rural regions are indigenous.
Rhe Hausa language
Hausa or Jausa (Harshen Hausa) is spoken in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kastina, Kebbi, Niger, Taraba, Sokoto and Zamfara, provinces in the north of the country. It is spoken by about 48.3 million inhabitants. It is the most widely spoken indigenous language in the country.
Rhe Igbo language
Igbo or Ibo (Ásụ̀sụ̀ Ị̀gbò) is spoken by 27 million Nigerians in the following states: Abia, Anambra, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers.
Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) is spoken by a total of 39.5 million inhabitants, mostly in the states of Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo, located in the southwestern part of the country.
Rhe Fula language
Fula (Fulfulde) is spoken by 14.4 million of the Nigerian population, mainly in the north and north-west of Nigeria (in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe).
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