Check Out The 9 Major Languages Spoken In Nigeria
Many of you out there have wondered what the total number of languages spoken in Nigeria. NIGERIA NEWS has therefore made a tiny list of the number of languages spoken in Nigeria for the pleasurable reading of her subscribers.
On today’s post, NIGERIA NEWS would be discussing and analysing the major ethnicities in Nigeria, with a view to describing the characteristics of the tribe and the major area of the country to find them.
NIGERIA NEWS recently discovered that there are over 250 spoken languages with over 600 dialects within the geographical entity called Nigeria.
Though Nigeria’s official language is English, there are a number of other major languages that dominate the major areas of the country. The predominant major languages are Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo.
Aside from the existence of the three predominantly spoken local languages, we have other ones like the Creole, Kanuri, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Nupe, Edo, Ijaw, Ibibio, amongst others.
Below are some of the 9 major languages spoken in Nigeria;
The Yoruba language is mostly found in the South-Western part of the country like Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, and Lagos and Kwara.
A north-central state like and Kogi alongside their counterpart in the south-south- Edo and Delta States are reportedly occupied by a percentage of Yoruba people.
Universally, Yoruba is growing. The Yoruba language is spoken by many foreigners. So, the Yoruba language is so dynamic with several dialects including Ijebu, Egba, Ijesha, Awori, Ibolo, Kaaba, Ekiti, and Oyo amidst others.
The Yoruba is presumed to be spoken by about 20 million people.
The Hausa language is the most widely spoken language in Nigeria, with over 19 million native speakers found in the Northern States of the country like Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi, Kebbi, Zamfara, and the Gombe States.
The Hausa language is also presumed to be the most easily learnt and in fact the most easily taught native language in Nigeria.
The Hausa language is also spoken as a minor language is Kwara, Kogi, Plateau, Niger, Borno, Adamawa, and Nassarawa states.
In addition to these, there are around 15 million native speakers, who are speaking Hausa as the second language. Even some foreigners in the South West of Africa speak this language.
What is more, is that the Hausa language is highly respected by foreigners to the extent that it is given significance in international broadcasting- thanks to BBC Hausa.
Igbo is the principal language spoken by about 24 million people primarily hailing from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.
The Igbo language is also spoken in some parts of Akwa Ibom (Ika LGA), Delta (Oshimili, Aniocha, and Ndokwa LGAs) and Rivers States (Ikwerre, Bonny, and Ahoada LGAs).
Other places Igbo speakers could be found include Cameroun while in Equatorial Guinea, Igbo is a recognized minority language.
The Creole language popularly referred to as Pidgin English is a mix of English and ethnic Nigerian languages. It is the native language for more than 5 million people in Nigeria.
It can also be seen as a commonly spoken language throughout the country with each of the 250 Nigerian ethnic groups speaking the language though with some individualistic extra words.
Creole has been seen to have historical connections with Spanish and Portuguese languages. Notwithstanding, it can be seen as a mixture of various languages.
By the way, the Creole language variations can be found in many different parts of the world, where British soldiers had been.
Kanuri language is also one of the most spoken languages in the country with over 3 million of native speakers, which are mainly located in states like Yobe, Jigawa, and Borno.
There are more than 500 000 people who can say that Kanuri is their second language. It is also spoken in countries like Niger, Cameroon, and Chad.
As for the small minorities of this language, they can be traced to Sudan and Libya. This language is usually associated with Kane and Bornu Empires, which were dominated by Lake Chad many years ago.
Actually, it is a written language, which uses Ajai Arabic script. It has now become firmly associated with Latin script.
The Ijaw people speak 9 closely related Niger-Congo languages which are divided into Eastern Ijaw and Western Ijaw with Izon being the most prominent member the latter.
Ijaw is spoken by almost 2 million people in Nigeria. Speakers are predominantly found in Bayelsa State, Delta State, Ondo State, and Ekiti State.
A number of dialects exist including Arogbo, Egbema, Ikibiri and West Tarairi with about 30 of them being inherently intelligible.
The Ibibio language is spoken by more than 1.5 million Nigerian people. Almost all of them are located in Akwa Ibom State.
Not so long ago, Ibibio people even asked for the confession of their nation from the British. Actually, there are over 5 million Ibibio native speakers in the world and almost all of them are located in Nigeria.
But you can also meet them in Equatorial Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, and Cameroon. These people have culture and individual views similar to Ekid, Anna, Oron, and Ibeno.
Edo is primarily spoken by at least 1 million people in Edo State. Interestingly, in November 2013 a scholar quoted the Esogban of Benin Kingdom as raising alarm over the ‘likely extinction of the Bini language’.
This is because of the non-existence of a common language in Edo State, gradual decline of Edo speaking homes and the more pronounced use of English and Pidgin English by the native speakers of the Edo language.
Edo language is also spoken in Ondo and Delta states.
Nupe speakers are often found in states like Niger State, Kwara State, Kogi State, and some parts of FCT-Abuja. The language is spoken by about 1 million people living in the territory of the country.