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Languages in Kenya


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Languages in Kenya: Mother tongue continues to be the first tool of communication for a majority of Kenya children. In urban areas, many children speak Kiswahili as a first language and though they understand their mother tongues, fluency in written and spoken ethnic languages is on the decline. The Constitution of Kenya pledges to protect the diversity of languages spoken in Kenya, and to promote the use of indigenous languages, sign language and other communication formats in use by people with disabilities.

Officlal and National Languages in Kenya

The Constitution of Kenya sets out the National language as Kiswahili and the official languages as both English and Kiswahili.  In the old Constitution, Kiswahili was not recognised as an official language.

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Many Kenyans, however, speak at least three languages, a mother tongue, Kiswahili and English. Foreign languages are also spoken for professional purposes and some like French, German, Japanese, Arabic and Chinese are taught in the formal education system up to university level.

Indigenous Languages spoken in Kenya

  1. Aweer language
  2. Bajuni dialect
  3. Borana language
  4. Burji language
  5. Camus people
  6. Daasanach language
  7. Dahalo language
  8. Digo language
  9. El Molo language
  10. Elgon languages
  11. Embu language
  12. English language
  13. Gikuyu language
  14. Gujarati grammar
  15. Gujarati language
  16. Kathiyawadi
  17. Gusii language
  18. Idaxo-Isuxa-Tiriki language
  19. Ilwana language
  20. Kalenjin languages
  21. Kamba language
  22. Kenyan Sign Language
  23. Khayo language
  24. Kipsigis language
  25. Kuria language
  26. Template:Languages of Kenya
  27. Logoli language
  28. Luo dialect
  29. Maa languages
  30. Maasai language
  31. Marachi language
  32. Meru language
  33. Naandi language
  34. Nandi–Markweta languages
  35. Nilotic languages
  36. Northeast Coast Bantu languages
  37. Nubi language
  38. Nyole language (Kenya)
  39. Ogiek language
  40. Omotik language
  41. Orma language
  42. Oromo language
  43. Pokomo language
  44. Pökoot language
  45. Rendille language
  46. Rendille–Boni languages
  47. Sakuye people
  48. Samburu language
  49. Samia language
  50. Sheng slang
  51. Somali language
  52. Suba language
  53. Taita language
  54. Terik people
  55. Tugen language
  56. Turkana language
  57. Waata language
  58. Western Omo–Tana languages
  59. Yaaku language



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