African Languages

I’m intrigued to think of the multitude of languages spoken on the African continent. My experience is very limited but I got to be acquainted with a few when I worked for the Library of Congress Field Office in Nairobi Kenya. We were acquiring periodicals from all the countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. I was in charge of an indexing project which resulted in our publication Quarterly Index to Periodical Literature, Eastern and Southern Africa. This journal continued to be published long after I left Kenya. It ran for 15 years until technology took over and made it redundant.

One of the aides here at Ida Culver is from Zimbabwe. Her language is Shona when she speaks to members of her family. Another aide is from Burkina Faso – the official language of her country is French, she also speaks Moore and Fula. A student helper in the kitchen was wearing a Harambe bracelet. His native language would be Swahili. Two aides on the night shift are from Ethiopia – they speak Amharic. Another aide is from Eritrea. Her language is Tingrinya.