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African Languages Overview

Did you know that one quarter of the world's languages is spoken only in African? There are nearly 800 languages spoken in Africa, whether they be tribal or national, there are nearly half a million people speaking different African languages. Major in African Language so you can learn how to speak, write, and read various African Languages.

Some of the most common languages studied are Arabic, Swahili, Twi, Yoruba, and Zulu. Students will not only learn the linguistics of African languages, but also be educated on the rich culture Africa has to offer. While majoring in African Languages, students will take courses in African languages, culture, and society, Introduction to African literature, Syntax, and Phonology.

Required Skills

Students should have an ear for detail. There are many different African Languages and it is crucial to be able to detect which one is being spoken. An individual with a love for African Culture is also important. There are opportunities for study abroad programs at some institutions. This would allow a student to practice their lingual skills and experience the culture of Africa first hand.

To prepare for this major, students are advised to take courses in World History, Latin, French Language, and World religion. These courses will help students understand the fundamentals of African Languages.


A degree in African Languages can lead to many different career options. If you are interested in teaching others, a career as a Foreign Language and literature teacher is open to you. You will be able to teach English speaking individuals African, or African speaking individuals English. Students may continue their education to become Speech Language Pathologists. These professionals work with individuals to assess and treat speech, voice, language, or fluency disorders. One more option is to become a translator, a career highly in demand due to the growing business between nations.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in African Languages might open up.

Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
Interpreters and Translators
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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