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Curriculum and Learning Development

Dumelang! Sawubona!

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Welcome to the online basic courses in African languages! We wish you success in this endeavour, and trust that it will be an enriching experience for you. 

Nine of the 11 official languages in South Africa, viz. Xhosa, Zulu, Venda, Tsonga, Swati, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho and Tswana are African languages.  They belong to a large family, comprising more than a thousand languages and dialects, which are spoken largely in equatorial Africa and to the south of it.

There are many similarities between the African languages that it is generally accepted that they all developed from some common proto-language form, known as Ur-Bantu. These languages are still referred to as the ‘Bantu’-languages.  It is important to note that while the term Bantu fell into disrepute during the Apartheid era when it the word was misapplied, it nevertheless is the internationally most accepted term.

The African Languages of South Africa are divided into four main groups, viz.:

  • NGUNI , which includes Zulu (insert link to Zulu introduction), Xhosa, Ndebele and Swati;
  • SOTHO, which includes Northern Sotho (insert link to NSotho introduction), Southern Sotho and Setswana (insert link to Setswana  introduction);
  • TSONGA and
  • VENDA

We currently offer free online courses in Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa and Zulu.

Click here to learn an African language for FREE online.