What do you know about the English speaking population in Africa? How many people speak English every day? If you are interested in the details, read this information. We will talk about English speaking countries in Africa!
A study conducted by World Linguistic Agency has rated Uganda the Best English Speaking Country in Africa. This comes in the wake of a video from a Miss Rwanda contestant that was shown struggling with English in a country that made a move from Francophone to Anglophone.
After Uganda, the following countries came in closely; South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Namibia. Despite their strong traditional accent, Nigerians were credited for taking the spot for constructing good sentences that are grammatically flawless.
The full list is here:
2. South Africa
A few years ago I was preparing for a trip to Namibia. We were renting a car and excited about our self-drive adventure. English is listed as the official language, so we thought communications would be no problem. Surprise! I got a lot further with my basic Dutch because of its similarity to Afrikaans in rural areas, than when I spoke English. Even German seemed more widely understood when we needed accurate directions.
In Rwanda, English and Kinyarwanda are the official languages. When I was visiting last year, I was looking forward to being in an African country that keeps things relatively simple, linguistically speaking. But after a brief stroll around Kigali, I discovered that most well dressed business people were speaking French to one another. Of course it’s all due to the colonial powers that were there before, but for those not well versed in history, it’s confusing.
If at first you don’t understand, listen harder. And if someone is having trouble with your accent and pronunciation, use different words, don’t get vexed (upset), and do not speak louder. We’ve all met the types of people that think by shouting they will somehow be miraculously understood. Understand that colloquialisms and slang do not translate well, even if you are speaking the same language. And always remember, a smile is universal.
There are more than a dozen African countries where English is an official language. These include Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana. Namibia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa, and Nigeria. But with slang, accents and history in the mix, it’s not always easy to understand or be understood when speaking English in Africa.
A large number of countries where English is the official language are the British Empire former territories. Only Eritrea and Rwanda were an Italy colony. The population on the list is approximate from 2009. Today the number can be more. Besides, there are people in some African countries who speak French, Arabic, and others languages. You might be wondering: “How many countries are in Africa?” Today, there are 54 countries in Africa in general according to the United Nations official statistic. And 24 of them are English speaking.
We will find out which countries in Africa are the best English speakers. You will be surprised but Uganda takes the first place. Then Zambia, South Africa, and Kenya follow. Uganda is situated in the East part of the continent. The research has been carried out by the World Linguistic Society this year. Although Uganda was colonized by the British, the country became independent in 1962. Since that time Uganda adopted education from Great Britain. What is more, a big step was taken to make English the official language in the East Africa. In Ugandan schools and colleges/universities, English is the main language. Uganda is the country where more than 60 languages are spoken.
Tanzania and Kenya they have two official languages – Kiswahili and English. Rwanda also uses English as a means of communication. English speaking countries in West Africa are Ghana and Nigeria. There are a lot of people who use this language to communicate here. But these countries are often criticized because of their “thick” accents.