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South African Languages - Northern Sotho

Northern Sotho is one of the official languages of South Africa, and is spoken by nearly five million in the South African provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo Province and Mpumalanga.

Northern Sotho is a language of the Bantu family within the Niger-Congo language phylum. Thus, this language is most closely related to Tswana (Setswana) and Sotho (Sesotho/Southern Sotho).

Historically, the standard Northern Sotho language has been largely based on Pedi, as the missionaries who first developed the orthography had contact mainly with the Pedi people, and this is probably where the confusion originated. Further confusion arose when the South African constitution originally incorrectly cited "(Se)pedi" as being the official language.

Other languages spoken in South Africa : AfrikaansEnglishIsiZuluIsiXhosaSiSwatiNdebeleSouthern Sotho, Northern Sotho, TsongaSeTswanaVenda 


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