Three African languages are among the top 10 fastest-growing languages spoken at home in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As such, American companies must take advantage of an opportunity to expand their language offerings to this growing demographic. Today’s blog from Akorbi showcases the most popular African languages spoken in the United States.
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Around 90,000 people speak Swahili at home in the United States. The number of people speaking Swahili at home grew 22 percent in the U.S. from 2016 to 2018. Akorbi’s headquarters region, Dallas-Fort Worth, has a strong community of Swahili-speakers, particularly in Irving.
Families who speak Yoruba (from Western Africa) at home grew 13 percent over two years. Yoruba is the primary African language spoken in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. Like Swahili, Yoruba is a common African language spoken in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. DFW has the fifth-largest African migrant population at 64,000, and 18,000 of those are Nigerian.
Amharic is the principal language of Ethiopia, while Somali is spoken in the neighboring country of Somalia. These two languages grew 12 percent among American households from 2016 to 2018. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Ethiopian and Somali culture can be found in the many eateries and coffeehouses offering authentic cuisine from these countries.
Igbo is another popular African language spoken in America. Around 220,000 people speak Igbo in the United States, and it’s the principal language of southeastern Nigeria. Akorbi works in more than 170 languages, and Nigeria’s top two African languages are part of our offerings.
The Twi language comes to the United States from Ghana. A handful of universities in the United States offer to teach Twi language courses, including Indiana University, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn, UCSD, and the University of Florida.
The influx and growth of African languages in America is mainly due to small pockets of immigrant populations. These people come to the United States from countries like Congo, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. There are tremendous opportunities for companies who want to expand their offerings to a growing African population in America. In fact, the U.S. Census, for the first time in 2020, will print materials in four African languages: Swahili, Igbo, Yoruba, and Twi.
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Akorbi: Translating and Interpreting African Languages
Akorbi is a Dallas-based translation company with an international reach. We support more than 170 languages, including Swahili, Yoruba, Igbo, Zulu, and more. Contact Akorbi or call us toll-free at 1-877-4-AKORBI for more information on translation, interpretation, localization, and workforce solutions.