Do you know which language is the most widely spoken in Nigeria? Check out this article to find out what languages are currently spoken in Nigeria!
Nigeria has over 500 languages, some of them are still spoken and some of them are now extinct. The official language is now English. This former colonial language is chosen for facilitating the unity of the country. However, people prefer English in country’s urban communities.
There are two families of Nigerian languages: Afro-asiatic and Niger-Congo languages. However, the most widely spoken languages are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Edo, Fulfulde, and Kanuri.
Let us observe some of the most widely spoken languages in Nigeria.
Hausa is a Chadic language that belongs to the Afro-asiatic family. It has the largest quantity of speakers in Nigeria. 35 million people use it as the first language and more than million as the second.
The native speakers, Hausa people, are usually found in Niger, Nigeria and Chad. In addition, this language is used for trading in the Western Africa region, Central Africa, and Sudan.
It has various dialects. Each dialect differs in dependence of the country where people use it for communication.
Igbo language is used by Igbo people, situated in southeastern Nigeria. There are approximately 24 million Igbo speakers in Nigeria.
There are more than 20 dialects of this language. A standard literary variant for Igbo was developed in 1972.
Igbo language also has the related languages. They are Ika, Ikwerre and Ogba. Sometimes they considered the dialects of Igbo. The minority of Equatorial Guinea also uses Igbo for communication.
Yoruba is widely spoken in the Western Africa. There are more than 65 million Yoruba speakers all over the Africa. Speaking of Nigeria, it has more than 40 million Yoruba speakers.
Yoruba is classified to many different dialects. It has connections with many African countries and early African empires.
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Ibibio language is most widely used in the southern part of Nigeria by Ibibio people.
The number of Ibibio speakers is not very impressive. Currently there are about 4.5 million Ibibio speakers in Nigeria.
This language is mostly spoken in Edo State of Nigeria. Currently it has 1 million speakers in general.
It is impossible to define the number of Kanuri speakers in Nigeria. However, it has around 4 million speakers in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
This language is often associated with Kanem and Bornu empires which existed for thousands of years.
Simply called Fula, this language has more than 24 million speakers in 20 countries of Africa. It is used as the first language of Fula people, most of which are situated in Nigeria. They tend to call their language Pulaar or Pular.
Currently Nigeria has more than 7 million Fula speakers.
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