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African Languages and Cultures

Distribution of Vernacular and General Collection among Key African Languages in UCLA Libraries

Language and its alternate name(s) Codes Classification Countries spoken and number of speakers Number of institutions in the US that have taught the language
C=University/college
S=Summer
SA=Study abroad program
P=Primary/local schools
DE=Distance Educ..
Enrollment numbers in US Institutions of Higher Education (2006) Number of materials based on search strategies and collection analysis tools (as of September 2007)
Vernacular materials (click for lists) General materials from Publication Year Range
UCLA Library Catalogue
A: by Keyword
B: by Keyword+’language’
C: by Title
D: by Title+’language’
LIT Data Mart (click for tables)
Afrikaans MARC-LC: afr
ISO 639-3:afr
Family: Indo-European
Group: Germanic
Subgroup: West Germanic
South Africa, Namibia, Botswana (5,965,879) C: 10
SA: 1
25 3995 A: 2144
B: 312
C: 239
D: 7
4616 1878-2007
Amharic (Amhara, Abyssinian, Ethiopian) MARC-LC: amh
ISO 639-3:amh
Family: Afro-Asiatic
Group: Semitic
Sub-Groups: Central Semitic → Ethio-Semitic
Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt (21,000,000) C: 13
S: 2
SA: 1
16
(UCLA: 6)
902 A: 742 (Amhara: 35; Amharic OR Amhara: 776)
B: 167
C: 143
D: 10
1032 1698-2006
Bambara (Bamanakan) MARC-LC: bam
ISO 639-3: bam
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Mande
Sub-Groups: Western Mande→Central-Southwestern Mande
Mali, Burkina-Faso, Cote d’lvoire, Gambia, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal (2,786,385) C: 9
S: 1
SA: 1
46 55 A: 222 (Bamanankan:: 12; Bambara OR Bamanankan: 222)
B: 81 (Bamanankan: 10); Bambara or (Bamanankan: 81)
C: 90 (Bamanankan:: 12; Bambara OR Bamanankan: 99)
D: 0 (Bamanankan: 1; Bambara OR Bamanankan: 1)
58 1825-2006
Berber (Tamazight) MARC-LC: ber
ISO 639-3:tzm
Family: Afro-Asiatic
Group: Berber
Sub-Groups: Northern Berber→Atlas
Morocco, Algeria (3,500,000) C: 1
SA: 1
- 18 A: 279 (Tamazight: 44; Berber OR Tamazight:: 312 )
B: 56 (Tamazight : 28; Berber OR Tamazight:: 77)
C: 52 (Tamazight 17; Berber OR Tamazight:: 40)
D: 1 (Tamazight:: 0; Berber OR Tamazight::1)
19 1844-2007
Ewe (Gbe) MARC-LC: ewe
ISO 639-3:ewe
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Subgroups: Volta-Congo→Kwa→Left Bank Kwa
Ghana, Togo (3,112,400) C: 1 - 51 A: 282 (Gbe: 37; Ewe OR Gbe: 306)
B: 81 (Gbe:10; Ewe OR Gbe language: 82)
C: 149 (Gbe: 23; Ewe OR Gbe: 169 )
D: 10 (Gbe: 1; Ewe OR Gbe: 10)
35 1890-2005
Fulani (Fulfulde, Fula, Fulbe, Peul, Peulh, Pulaar) MARC-LC: ful
ISO 639-3:fuq
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Sub-Groups: Northern West Atlantic→Senegambia→Fula-Wolof
Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal , Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroon, Gambia, Benin  (15,000,000) C: 3 0 69 A: 147 (Fula: 343; Pulaar:24; Fulfulde:44; Fulbe:53; Peul:88; Peulh:3; Fulani OR Fula: 437; Fulani OR Fula OR Fulbe: 452; Fulani OR Fula OR Fulfulde: 445)
B: 16 (Fula:124; Pulaar:6; Fulfulde:31; Fulbe:7; Peul:24; Peulh:1; Fulani OR Fula: 131; Fulani OR Fula OR Fulbe: 133; Fulani OR Fula OR Fulfulde: 132 )
C:64 (Fula:21; Pulaar:21; Fulfulde:38; Fulbe:43; Peul: 70; Peulh: 2)
D: 1 ((Fula:0; Pulaar:0; Fulfulde:3; Fulbe:1; Peul: 0; Peulh: 0)
57 1841-2006
Hausa (Hausawa, Haoussa) MARC-LC: hau
ISO 639-3:hau
Family: Afro-Asiatic
Group: Chadic
Sub-Group: West Chadic
Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Togo (24,162,000) C: 15
SA: 1
DE: 1
54 879 A: 1285 (Hausawa:6; Haoussa: 22; Hausa OR Hausawa: 1286; Hausa OR Hausawa OR Haoussa: 1295)
B: 896 (Hausawa: 3; Haoussa: 9;  Hausa OR Hausawa: 896;  Hausa OR Hausawa Haoussa: 897)
C: 375 (Hausawa: 6; Haoussa: 20)
D: 29 (Hausawa: 0; Haoussa: 1)
995 1876-2007
Igbo (Ibo) MARC-LC: ibo
ISO 639-3:ibo
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Sub-Groups: Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo→West Benue-Congo→Igboid
Nigeria (18,000,000) C: 5 2 125 A: 751
B: 210 (Ibo: 29)
C:  383 (Ibo: 70)
D: 19 (Ibo: 2)
114 1900-2007
Lingala (Ngala) MARC-LC: lin
ISO 639-3:lin
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Sub-Groups: Volta Congo→Benue-Congo→East Benue-Congo→Bantu
Congo DR, Central African Rep, Congo (2,139,202) C: 5
S: 1
58 9 A: 68
B: 47
C: 54
D: 0
5 1900-2005
Malagasy (Malgache) MARC-LC: mlg
ISO 639-2: mlg
Family: Austronesian
Group: Malayo-Polynesian
Sub-Groups: Western Malayo-Polynesian→Borneo→Barito East
Madagascar, Comoro Is., Reunion (9,398,700) C: 3 - 105 A: 512 (Malgache: 377; Malagasy OR Malgache: 783)
B: 110 (Malgache:46; Malagasy OR Malgache: 114)
C: 121 (Malgache: 296)
D: 4
135 1729-2007
Mende MARC-LC: men
ISO 639-3:men
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Mande
Sub-Groups: Western Mande→Southwestern Mande
Sierra-Leone, Liberia (1,480,000) C: 2 - 8 A: 180
B: 21
C: 51
D: 4
6 1900-2003
Oromo (Afaan Oromo, Oromoo, Borana) MARC-LC: orm
ISO 639-3:gaz
Family: Afro-Asiatic
Group: Cushitic
Sub-Group: East Cushitic
Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya  (8,920,000) C: 1 0 16 A: 122 (Afaan: 8)
B: 41 (Afaan: 6)
C: 51 (Afaan: 7)
D: 8 (Afaan: 0)
23 1844-2006
Shona (Chishona) MARC-LC: sna
ISO 639-3:sna
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Sub-Groups: Volta-Congo→Benue-Congo→East-Benue→Bantu
Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia (10,704,222) C: 10
SA: 1
DE: 1
0 23 A: 445 (Chishona: 3)
B: 211
C: 161
D: 4
316 1928-2007
Somali MARC-LC: som
ISO 639-3:som
Family: Afro-Asiatic
Group: Cushitic
Sub-Group: East Cushitic
Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya (12,653,480) C: 3
SA: 1
4 43 A: 376
B: 64
C: 228
D: 13
51 1900-2007
Swahili (Kiswahili) MARC-LC: swa
ISO 639-3:swh
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Sub-Groups: Volta-Congo→Benue-Congo→East-Benue→Bantu
Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi,  Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia, Mozambique, Congo DR, Zambia (50,000,000) C: 119
S: 3
SA: 9
P: 1
DE: 2
2,163 (UCLA: 89) 1100 A: 1265 (Kiswahili: 222; Swahili OR Kiswahili: 1306)
B: 759 (Kiswahili: 154; Swahili OR Kiswahili: 762)
C: 391 (Kiswahili: 164)
D: 38 (Kiswahili: 10)
904 1850-2007
Tigrinya (Tigrigna; Tigray) MARC-LC: tir
ISO 639-3:tir
Family: Afro-Asiatic
Group: Semitic
Sub-Groups: Central Semitic→Ethio-Semitic
Ethiopia, Eritrea (5,135,000) C: 2 - 62 A: 110 (Tigray: 42; Tigrinya or Tigray: 144)
B: 50 (Tigray: 4; Tigrinya OR Tigray: 50)
C: 11
D: 1
48 1895-2005
Twi (Akan, Asante, Fante) MARC-LC: twi
ISO 639-3:aka
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Subgroups: Volta-Congo →Kwa→Potou-Tano→Akan
Ghana, (8,300,000) C: 21
SA: 1
DE: 1
36 (UCLA: 3) 71 A: 146 (Akan: 277; Asante: 204; Fante: 96; Twi OR Akan OR Asante: 584; Twi OR Akan OR Fante: 491)
B: 90 (Akan: 43; Asante: 25; Fante: 15; Twi OR Akan OR Asante: 132; Twi OR Akan OR Fante: 130)
C: 62 (Akan: 167; Asante: 78; Fante: 36)
D: 9 ((Akan: 4; Asante: 4, Fante: 6)
77 1854-2007
Wolof MARC-LC: wol
ISO 639-3:wol
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo Sub-Groups: Atlantic→Northern West Atlantic→Senegambian→Fula-Wolof
Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania (3,612,560) C: 20
S: 1
SA: 1
122 48 A: 214
B: 109
C: 119
D: 4
43 1825-2007
Xhosa (IsiKhosa) MARC-LC: xho
ISO 639-3:xho
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Subgroups: Volta-Congo→Benue-Congo→East Benue-Congo→Bantu
South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho (7,196,118) C: 11
SA: 3
DE: 3
4 230 A: 374
B: 184
C: 128
D: 1
252 1850-2007
Yoruba MARC-LC: yor
ISO 639-3:yor
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Sub-Groups: Volta-Congo→Benue-Congo→West Benue-Congo→Yoruboid
Nigeria, Benin, Togo (19,327,000.) C: 34
S: 1
SA: 2
P: 1
265 (UCLA: 6) 444 A: 1283
B: 465
      C: 600
D: 42
431 1852-2007
Zulu (IsiZulu) MARC-LC: zul
ISO 639-3: zul
Family: Niger-Congo
Group: Atlantic-Congo
Subgroups: Volta-Congo→Benue-Congo→East Benue-Congo→Bantu
South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland (9,142,000.) C: 19
S: 2
SA: 4
DE: 2
132 226 A: 852
B: 281
C: 365
D: 15
283 1847-2007
All - Afro-Asiatic: 6
Austronesian: 1
Indo-European: 1
Niger-Congo:  13
241,534,946 [Estimated population (2007): Africa: 945.3m Sub-Saharan Africa: 747.6m] C: 307
S: 11
SA: 27
DE: 10
P: 2
2927 8479 4,230-12,213 9642 1698-2007

Sources: Ethnoloque; Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA); United Nations Population Fund; MARC Code List for Languages, Library of Congress; UCLA Library Catalog; UCLA Library DataMart (Discovery); Modern Language Association Report