African Cultures Essay

Topics: Africa, Languages of Africa, Niger-Congo languages Pages: 4 (1221 words) Published: September 23, 2003
African Cultures

Africa has more than 800 languages native to its continent. African cultures are so diverse that they are different from any other culture of the world. African cultures contain many different languages. African languages range from common French to languages unheard of to most people such as Swahili. African arts are much different than American arts. Their art involves much more creative pottery, masks, and paintings. Africa has a very interesting culture. Reasons being the people are very creative and like to express their individuality. The most diverse cultures in the world belong to Africa. There are more than 800 languages spoken in the continent of Africa. Most Africans speak two or three languages, their primary language, or "mother-tongue", and a second or third language to communicate with people from other close by areas (Fetzer A-102). African languages are broken up into four individual categories: Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Afro-Asiatic, and Khosian. The most commonly heard two categories are Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan. Both of these groups can modify the meanings of words by the tone of the speakers' voice. Niger-Congo languages are spoken of the people in West Africa, below the Sahara desert, Southern and Central Africa. Nilo-Saharan languages are spoken mainly in Central Africa. Afro-Asiatic languages are mainly spoken in Northern and Northeastern Africa. This group includes Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, and Arabic. Khoisan languages are spoken mostly in Southern Africa by Bushmen, members of traditionally roaming hunting people, and Hottentots, members of pastoral people of Namibia and South Africa. Khoisan languages are communicative through clicking sounds (Fetzer A-102). Some South Africans speak Afrikaans, a language that was developed from Dutch. Europeans in African speak Portuguese, French, and English (Fetzer A-102). English is becoming very recognized in the countries of Africa. The 1991 South...
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