Niger has eleven official languages and French is by far the most widely used official language in the country. French became the official language after Niger gained independence from France. The other ten official languages are Fulfulde, Hausa, Tamasheq, Arabic, Tassawaq, Kanuri, Tebu, Buduma, Gourmanchéma, Zarma, and Songhai. The ten official languages are further divided into local dialects. The local dialects are spoken in different regions in Niger. The Hausa language has the most users in the country.

55.4% of the population of Niger speaks Hausa. Zama-Songhai is spoken by 21.1% of the population while 9.3% of the population speaks Tuareg. 8.5% of the populating speaks Fulani, and 4.7% of the population speaks Kanuari. The other languages are spoken by 1.1% of the population. French, which is the official language, is spoken by people mainly in the urban areas.

Some of the phrases used in Hausa language in Niger include words like “sannu da zuwa” which means welcome, "sannu" which means hello, and "kana lahiya" which means "how are you?"

The main languages spoken in Niger represent ethnic groups which are made up of local dialect languages. Some of the local dialects in each ethnic group have very few speakers compared to other dialects. These local dialects with fewer speakers are the minority languages in Niger. They are Dazaga spoken in the eastern part of Niger near Nguigmi, although it has speaker in the neighboring countries like Chad, Libya, and Sudan. Tamahaq is another minority language in Niger that belongs to the northern Tuareng language family and also spoken in other neighboring countries like Algeria and Libya. Other minority languages include Tahaggart, Tagdal, Kanuri, Bilma, Kanuri, Tumari among others.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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