Sierra Leone Languages

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Languages

Sierra Leone is a multilingual country. English is the de facto official language, and Krio is the most widely spoken. Although English, as the official language, is spoken in schools, government administration and the media, Krio is spoken as a lingua franca in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone. [1]. Approximately 97% of the 7.4 million citizens in the country speak the Krio language (either natively or as a second or third language) which evolved from English Creole. Krio provides a mutual method of communication between the various tribes and ethnic groups within Sierra Leone. There are approximately 23 languages that exist in Sierra Leone, but some are in danger of going extinct due to Krio being used the most.[2]

Sierra Leone Krio is the lingua franca and the de facto national language spoken throughout the West African nation of Sierra Leone. Krio is the native language for some 300,000 Krios—the descendants of slaves from the West Indies, United States and Britain, who overwhelmingly live in Freetown. Krio is an English-based creole, but is closer to being a fully-fledged language, as it has fixed grammatical structures and rules. Most of its vocabulary comes from English, but its sound system and grammar are closer to that of nearby African languages, in particular Yoruba. [3]

Additional Resources

  • Sierra Leone Company. Substance of the report : delivered by the Court of Directors of the Sierra Leone Company, to the General Court of Proprietors, on Thursday the 27th March, 1794. [London] [Printed by James Phillips] [1794]. Avalible on WorldCat
  • Sierra Leone Company. Substance of the report of the Court of Directors of the Sierra Leone Company to the General Court, held at London on Wednesday the 19th of October, 1791. [London] [Printed by James Phillips] [1792]. Avalible on WorldCat
  • John Peterson. Province of freedom : a history of Sierra Leone, 1787-1870 [Evanston] [Northwestern University Press] [1969]. Avalible on WorldCat.


References