There are about 2000 languages spoken on the African continent. This does not even include its vast diaspora. Our languages, like our peoples, are deeply diverse. Our languages are ancient and modern. They are recited, signed, written, and sung. They are Creoles and pidgins; they are holy languages and love languages.
We consulted an expert panel of researchers, coffee drinkers, movie-goers, and lovers of language and culture to decipher our long and vibrant linguistic traditions to bring you this list. In their critical analysis, our panel considered critical factors like, “does it bop” what does it sound like when its plaid backwards, and how does it make you feel inside! They considered that linguistic conflicts are still deeply pervasive across the continent and cautioned not to stir up deeply cultural grievances.
Language is not performative, it is also personal. It is often attached to power, privilege and access. They considered how “foreign” languages are localized and adapted, and also the deep linguistic traditions that emerge in the African diasporas.
They came down to this list of 32, and out of this, we will anoint the most romantic language in the world.
- Gambian Sign language
- Cape Verdean Kriolu
- Langue des Signes d’Afrique Francophone
- Haitian Creole
May the best language win.