The official and the widely spoken language in Liberia is English. Liberian English is similar to American English. English is an Indo-European language. It is a West Germanic language. English is now a worldwide lingua franca. It uses Latin Script in writing. The English alphabet has 26 letters; 21 consonants and 5 vowels.

According to World Bank, in 2016, the literacy level of Liberia was approximately 48%. Almost all the literate individuals in the country are a largely conversant with English. The number of English speakers in Liberia is approximately 2.5 million or 55% of the population. At the moment, English is mostly a second language to most Liberians.

The dominant English spoken in Liberia is the Standard Liberian English which is largely similar to the American English. The language was introduced into the country following the settling of the Black Americans in Liberia in the 19th century. The pronunciation is slightly different from the American English. For example, the y in the happy is pronounced as [ɛ]. Standard Liberian English has a non-rhotic dialect because liquids are left behind at the end of the pronunciation of words or before the consonants. Other common forms of English spoken in Liberia are Kru Pidgin English and Liberian Kreyol English.

Liberia is a multi-lingual country. Apart from English, there are approximately other 30 languages spoken Liberia. The minority languages spoken in the country are divided into families of Mel languages, Mande languages, and the Kru languages. American Sign Language is also used in the country. None of the minority languages can be considered to be overly dominant over the other.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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