Language Focus: Nigeria

Nigeria is often described as the ‘sociolinguistic giant’ of Africa, due to the fact that there are 522 different languages spoken by over 250 distinct ethnic groups. The main indigenous languages are Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. Despite the fact that Nigeria gained independence in 1960, English is still the country’s official language, although it is generally only used as a second language. A derived language called Nigerian Pidgin English, is often used as a lingua-franca, due to the Nigerian population’s linguistic diversity.

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