Northern Sotho language

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Native toSouth Africa
RegionGauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga
Native speakers
4.7 million (2011 census)[1]
9.1 million L2 speakers (2002)[2]
  • Pedi
  • Lobedu (Kgaga)
  • Gananwa (Tlokwa)
  • Kopa (Ndebele-Sotho)
  • Birwa[3]
  • Tswapong[3]
  • ? Phalaborwa
  • ? Kutswe (East Sotho)
  • ? Pai (East Sotho)
  • ? Pulana (East Sotho)
Latin (Sotho alphabet)
Sotho Braille
Signed Pedi
Official status
Official language in
South Africa
Regulated byPan South African Language Board
Language codes
ISO 639-2nso
ISO 639-3Variously:
nso – Pedi etc.
brl – Birwa
two – Tswapong
Glottolognort3233  North Sotho + South Ndebele
parts of outer language 99-AUT-e (Sesotho-Setswana)
  • 99-AUT-ea (Khelobedu)
    99-AUT-eb (Thipulana)
    99-AUT-ec (Khutswe)
    99-AUT-ed (Sepedi), incl. 99-AUT-eab & -egh (southeast & northwest Tlokwa varieties)= transition to 99-AUT-eg (Setswana);
    99-AUT-ff (Pai)= transition from 99-AUT-fg (isiZulu)
 person  Mopedi
 people  Bapedi
 language  Sepedi
Geographical distribution of Sepedi in South Africa: proportion of the population that speaks a form of Sepedi at home.
Geographical distribution of Northern Sotho in South Africa: density of Northern Sotho home-language speakers.
  <1 /km²
  1–3 /km²
  3–10 /km²
  10–30 /km²
  30–100 /km²
  100–300 /km²
  300–1000 /km²
  1000–3000 /km²
  >3000 /km²

Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa in Northern Sotho) is an African language mainly spoken by people living in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Northern Sotho is one of the eleven official languages of South Africa. It is spoken by almost 4 618 500 people, or 8.4% of South Africans at home (2011-census). Northern Sotho is part of the Sotho language family.

References[change | change source]

  1. Pedi etc. at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Birwa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Tswapong at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Webb, Vic. 2002. "Language in South Africa: the role of language in national transformation, reconstruction and development." Impact: Studies in language and society, 14:78
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online