It’s difficult to even fathom how many different languages are spoken in Africa. Although it’s not quite as many as Asia, Africa boasts incredible linguistic diversity, with sizable portions of the populations of most African countries speaking a number of different indigenous languages. Naturally, this necessitates the use of a lingua franca to tie a country together, but use of the indigenous languages remains vigorous. Today, we’re focusing on one of the thousands of languages thriving in Africa: Sotho.
Sotho, also known by its native name Sesotho, has about 5.6 million native speakers and nearly 8 million second-language speakers. South Africa accounts for the largest portion, and most of the second-language speakers are South African. But strictly speaking, the linguistic homeland of the Basotho people can be said to be Lesotho, a small, landlocked country situated entirely inside South Africa. Nearly all people in Lesotho are ethnically Basotho and speak Sotho as their native language. But unfortunately, the high number of Sotho speakers still isn’t enough to motivate most translation companies to work with the language—so we at TranslationServices.com decided to make our own Sotho translation team.
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Some more information about the fascinating language of Sotho
Sotho enjoys status as an official language in three countries: Lesotho, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. However, Lesotho and South Africa account for the bulk of speakers, and in South Africa, speakers are concentrated in Free State and Gauteng, which are close to Lesotho. Sotho is a Bantu language, as are most indigenous languages in Central and Southern Africa, meaning Sotho is related to other famous African languages like Swahili, Zulu, and Xhosa.
Given Sotho’s nature as a Bantu language, its most characteristic features are its intricate noun class system and complex agglutination. Each noun falls into a class, and each class comes with its own prefix, which must be appended to any adjectives, demonstratives, or verbs that modifies the noun. Each class also has its own plural form, making the language complicated to master for learners. Sotho verbs are complicated, with markers for both the subject and object as well as tense, aspect, mood, and more, which means Sotho verbs can grow extremely long. The language is also tonal, using tones to convey grammatical information.
Would you like professional translation services to or from Sotho?
Sotho is an important language in Southern Africa, so our Sotho translators, who come from Lesotho, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, are proud to help Sotho speakers and English speakers communicate smoothly. If you’re looking for translation services from Sotho to English, turn to us, whether your documents are corporate, academic, literary, liturgical, historical, or personal in nature. That’s right—we can even translate historical Sotho-language documents or complex Sotho literature that requires a particularly careful eye. If translation services from English to Sotho is more your speed, we’d be happy to translate business documents, marketing materials, academic papers, creative works (including books, poems, websites, games, apps, and more), and more into seamless Sotho, exercising the same high level of accuracy each time.
This is your chance to get high-quality Sotho translation services—send us a message to discuss your needs!