LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

São Tomé and Príncipe, a Central African country which is the smallest Portuguese speaking country in the world. The ethnic mix of this nation is diverse, having a diversity of local languages with languages such as Portuguese, English and French also being spoken.

PORTUGUESE

Portuguese was introduced during the colonial era and accounts for the largest spoken and official language of the people of São Tomé and Príncipe and also the largest speaking Portuguese nation in Africa.

Portuguese is spoken by over 95% of the total population of São Tomé and Príncipe while over 50% of the population use it as a first language.

FORRO

Forro is a native language which is spoken by over 35% of the population of São Tomé and Príncipe. Forro is a creole language which was formed during the colonial era when Portuguese men married the slaves of Africa.

The offsprings of this mixing who were dark skinned were referred to as Forro. The Forro language is spoken widely in São Tomé Island with fewer speakers in Principe.

ANGOLAR CREOLE

The Angolar Creole is a minority language spoken in São Tomé and Príncipe where speakers of this language are found at the southern part of São Tomé. This language was formed from the mixing of the Portuguese language and Kimbundu language (a Bantu language of Africa spoken in Angola). Slaves taken from Angola into São Tomé by the Portuguese which led to the formation of this creole language.

PRINCIPENSE CREOLE

This creole language is spoken in Principe Island and accounts for about 1% of the total population who speaks it. It has mixes from Bantu and Kwa languages of Africa. The language began losing importance as younger generations do not speak Principense.Other languages spoken in São Tomé and Príncipe include Cabo Verdian, a creole language and the native language of Cape Verde which is spoken by about 8.5% of the population of São Tomé and Príncipe.

Written and edited by Ebenezer Oladokun

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