Kgalagadi language

Kgalagadi is one of the Bantu languages spoken in Botswana, along the South African border. It is spoken by about 40,000 people.[4] In the language, it is known as Shekgalagari.

Native toBotswana
Native speakers
65,400 (2015)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3xkv
S.311 (ex-S.31d)[3]
Linguasphere99-AUT-eh incl. varieties 99-AUT-eha to 99-AUT-ehc


Kgalagadi (also rendered Kgalagari, Kgalagarhi, Kgalagari, Khalagari, Khalakadi, Kxhalaxadi, Qhalaxarzi, Shekgalagadi, Shekgalagari, Kqalaqadi) is most closely related to Tswana, and until recently was classified as a dialect of Tswana.[3]

Dialects include Shengologa, Sheshaga, Shebolaongwe, Shelala, Shekhena, Sheritjhauba and Shekgwatheng.

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Kgalagadi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kgalagadi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ Kgalagadi language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Ethnic groups in Botswana

The population of Botswana is divided into the main ethnic groups of Tswana people (79%), Kalanga people (11%), and Basarwa (or Bushmen) (3%). The remaining 7% consist of other peoples, including some speaking the Kgalagadi language, and 1% of non-African people.About 79% of the total population speak Setswana as second and first language. The ethnic Tswana is split up among eight tribes: Bamangwato, Bakwena, Bangwaketse, Bakgatla, Barolong, Bamalete, and Batlokwa.

Kalahari language

Kalahari language may refer to:

the Bantu Kgalagadi language

one of the Kalahari Khoe languages


Kgalagadi, meaning "Land of the thirst", is a geographical area located in Southern Africa. It may also refer to:

The Kgalagadi District of Botswana

The Kgalagadi language

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Tswana language

The Tswana language (Tswana: Setswana) is a Bantu language spoken in Southern Africa by about five million speakers. It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho-Tswana branch of Zone S (S.30), and is closely related to the Northern and Southern Sotho languages, as well as the Kgalagadi language and the Lozi language.

Tswana is an official language and lingua franca of Botswana. The majority of Tswana-speakers are found in the north of South Africa, where four million people speak the language and an urbanised variety which is part slang and not the formal Setswana, known as Pretoria Tswana, is the principal language of that city. The three South African provinces with the most speakers are Gauteng (circa 11%) and Northern Cape

and North West (over 70%). Until 1994, South African Tswana people were notionally citizens of Bophuthatswana, one of the bantustans of the apartheid regime. The Setswana language in the Northwest Province has variations in which it is spoken according to the tribes found in the Tswana culture [Bakgatla, Barolong, Bakwena, Batlhaping, Bahurutshe, Bafokeng to name a few] the written language remains the same. Although Tswana is spoken mostly in South Africa and Botswana, a small number of speakers are also found in Zimbabwe and Namibia; respectively, an unknown number of people and about 10,000 people speak the language there.


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