The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese. It was inherited from the Portuguese who colonized the country. Portuguese is spoken by many people in the urban areas. Apart from the official language, other languages used in Mozambique include the Mozambican sign language, Makhuwa, Meeto, Chrima, Chopi, Kimwani, Tsonga, Ndalu, Chubwa, Sena, Ndau, and English among others. Mozambique has many Bantu speakers hence the significant number of native languages in the country. Swahili is also common in Mozambique. There are also foreign languages like the Arabic, Chinese, and the Gujarati language.

The majority of Mozambicans speaks Portuguese language and only 8.8% of the population speaks it as their first language. 27 % of the population uses it as their second language but are fluent speakers. Emakhuwa, one of the local languages, is spoken by 26.1 % of the population, Elomwe language is spoken by 7.6%, Cisena 6.1% Xichangana is spoken by 11.3% while Echuwabo is spoken by 5.8% of the population. These languages are part of the Bantu indigenous languages which are more than 50 in Mozambique. The other small native languages and foreign languages are spoken by around 7.3% of the population.

In Portuguese, "bom dia" means "good morning", "boa tarde" means "good afternoon", and "boa noite" means goodnight. To say excuse me, you can say "com licença".

Some of the minority languages in Mozambique are among the native Bantu languages spoken by very few Mozambicans. They include the following Chuwabu, Ronga, Chopi, Zulu, Makonde, Kimwani, Tswa, Lomwe, Swazi, and Mozambican sign language. The latter language is used only in Mozambique and its origin is unknown. It does not originate from Portuguese or American Sign Language.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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