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In the 1960s, Botswana was one of the poorest nations in the world. Fast forward sixty years, and Botswana is now one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, having skyrocketed its way to an upper-middle-income country. Botswana’s people enjoy one of the highest standards of living in Africa, and the country is consistently ranked as one of the safest, most stable, and least corrupt countries on the massive continent. Botswana derives its name from the Tswana people, who speak the Setswana language.


Setswana’s 12 million or so speakers are spread out across northern South Africa and Botswana, with around 4 million native speakers residing in the South African province of North West. Across the border in Botswana live another roughly 1.7 million speakers, with Setswana spoken as the native language by around 77% of the Botswanan population. The remaining speakers of Setswana, other than a small community of speakers in Namibia, are second-language speakers in South Africa. Coming across Setswana translation services isn’t easy—and that’s what inspired us to create our own Setswana translation team.


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Setswana, an important language in Botswana and South Africa

Setswana, which may also be called Tswana, is part of the expansive Niger–Congo language family that stretches from the westernmost point of West Africa to the southernmost tip of Southern Africa. More specifically, Setswana is a Bantu language, a massive language subfamily spread widely across Central, East, and Southern Africa. Like other Bantu languages, Setswana is written in the Latin alphabet, but the language’s highly agglutinative nature can make it difficult to read, leading to the development of a Bantu-specific writing system called Ditema tsa Dinoko in the 2010s, although it has not been widely adopted.


Grammatically, Setswana shares many of the quintessential Bantu features of its related languages, including Swahili, Zulu, and Xhosa. More specifically, Setswana nouns are divided up into nine noun classes, each with its own distinctive prefix (or several) and plural form(s). As a Bantu language, Setswana heavily prefers prefixes to suffixes, and these noun class prefixes are appended to adjectives, demonstratives, verbs, and other words that modify a given noun. Setswana verbs are packed with prefixes and infixes to indicate not only the subject and object but also tense, aspect, mood, and more.


We’re ready to translate between English and Setswana for all kinds of content.

As lovers of the Setswana language, our translators are serious about providing the highest-quality Setswana translations possible, with as wide an offering as possible. We offer translation from Setswana to English as well as from English to Setswana, for content from all domains. Don’t worry about specialty material, like historical documents in Setswana or traditional Tswana literature—our translators are trained even for these tricky scenarios. Similarly, any translation into Setswana that you order from us will be rendered with the crispest, most natural Setswana possible, whether it’s for marketing materials to promote your organization in Botswana, pedagogical papers to help educate native Setswana-speaking children in their native tongue, or entertainment content like books, websites, or games to further widen the literary and digital domain of the Setswana language.


If you have a need for Setswana translation services, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today!

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