How African Languages Play a Crucial Role in Global Business

African languages

Africa is classified as one of the most culturally and linguistically diversified continents in the world. With over a billion people speaking one-third of the world’s languages, Africa is the world’s second most populous continent.

With this huge diversity of languages, if you decide to travel across Africa or expand your business to some of its countries, having accurate translation services should be part and parcel of your plan to be able to deal with people speaking different languages.

Although English, Arabic, and French are the most widely spoken languages in Africa, there are many dominant languages you have to know such as Swahili, Yoruba, Igbo, and Fula that belong to the Niger-Congo family of languages. Generally, African languages belong to four huge families as follows:

  • Niger-Congo
  • Nilo-Saharan
  • Afroasiatic
  • Khoisan


Let’s shed some light on some of these African languages.


Swahili is a Bantu-spoken language with more than 100 million people and is used as a lingua franca in more than one country like Kenya, Tanzania, and Congo. It is also used as an official language in both Kenya and Uganda.


It is spoken in West Africa by the ethnic Yoruba people. It is spoken by over 20 million people. The language has witnessed great development since Bishop Samuel Crowther translated the Bible in 1884. The language is widely spoken in Nigeria, the Benin Republic, parts of Togo and Sierra Leone.


It is a widespread West African language spoken by around 18 million people. It is one of the official languages in Nigeria. The language has 30 dialects with phonological and lexical differences.


Fula is spoken by around 18 million people in West and central Africa. It is spoken most in Guinea, CameroonNigeria, Senegal, and Sudan. It is one of the national languages of Mauritania. Its main dialects are known as Pular, Pulaar, and Fulfulde.

Because of the immense number of languages spoken in Africa, you have to address such languages carefully to achieve your desired business goals.

In order to run a successful business in Africa, you should hire a reliable translation agency like Afrolingo. At Afrolingo, we have professional native speakers working around the clock to help you spread your message over African countries.

Why Translation is Important in Business

If you aspire to communicate with multiple countries in Africa, then you should hire a translation agency to ensure effective and accurate communication.

Here are the top reasons why translation is essential for your business.

Maintain a Positive Brand Image

If you are willing to penetrate the African markets, you should not only rely on English to promote your business. Communicate with your potential customers in their own indigenous languages and win their hearts. This way, you will ensure a successful brand image that will last for decades.

Better Communication with Customers

In order to approach new customers speaking different languages, translating your message in a way that looks appealing to them helps you enlarge your customer base so quickly. Any mistranslations will cause confusion and put off your target audiences.

Translating Documents and Policies

Your business documents should be carefully and rigorously translated in order to avoid any undesired consequences especially when it comes to documents that discuss legal issues and regulations. The following are some examples of business documents:

  • Employment contracts
  • Marketing materials
  • Accounting reports
  • Banking transactions
  • Foreign policies
  • Corporate manuals

Guaranteeing Smooth Business Operations

Translation ensures you smooth business operations. Since business operations may entail people from different countries who speak various languages, translation is indispensable in this context to make sure that stakeholders, customers, employees, and the government can communicate easily without any misunderstandings.

Ensure Successful Marketing Campaigns

When it comes to marketing, you have to avoid any machine translations and hire a professional translator who is able to translate, localize, and transcreate. He/she should be well-versed and cross-cultural to address the cultures of your target audiences. Your message in any marketing material should be rightly delivered to the target audience. Thus, word-for-word translation will never work.


When you decide to run your business in any of the African countries, Afrolingo is your go-to translation agency! We will help you deliver your message to any country in the African continent. Afrolingo guarantees you cost-effective, timely, and high-quality translation services. Talk to us today!