Setswana Profile (DRAFT)

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Setswana Profile (DRAFT)

Postby rdearman » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:50 pm

Below I have started the bones of a Setswana profile based on the profiles already on the static site. Please feel free to assist me in adding, editing, and correcting.

General information
The Tswana language or Setswana is spoken in Southern Africa by about five million people. It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho-Tswana branch of Zone S (S.30) and is closely related to the Northern and Southern Sotho languages, as well as the Kgalagadi language and the Lozi language.

Tswana, or Setswana is an official language of three countries. Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It is the only official African language in Botswana. Setswana is the most widespread language in southern Africa in terms of geographical extent. Because of its large geographical area with originally limited interaction between the speakers, it has developed numerous varieties, some of which have become remarkably distinct in their phonological, morphological and lexical characteristics.

Alternative names for the language are: Bechuana, Beetjuans, Chuana, Chwana, Coana, Cuana, Sechuana, Secoana, Secwana, Tshwana.

ISO Codes:
ISO 639-1 tn
ISO 639-2 tsn
ISO 639-3 tsn

Varieties / dialects
Tswana (Setswana), with dialects: Hurutshe, Kgatla, Kwena, Lete, Ngwaketse, Ngwato, Rolong, Tawana, Tlharo, Tlhaping, Tlharo, Fokeng, Tlokwa

Learning with a background in other languages
Although not listed specifically in FSI language rankings, Setswana would most likely fall into Category IV like many of it's linguistic neighbours which are listed. FSI lists some of the Southern Bantu languages in the Category IV section. A Category IV language for an English speaker should take about 44 weeks (1100 hours) of study. Category IV languages are languages with significant linguistic and/or cultural differences from English.

The written language uses the Latin alphabet and should present no problems for speakers of Indo-European languages.

Grammatical overview

Mutual intelligibility with other languages
The various dialects of Tswana, Southern Sotho and Northern Sotho are highly mutually intelligible. On more than one occasion, proposals have been put forward to create a unified Sotho–Tswana language.

Literature / Media / Film / Music


Podcasts / Radio / Television - Setswana-speaking Community Station situated in Johannesburg broadcasting a wide variety of music, to help increase listenership throughout South Africas dynamic cultures. - Radio 1 Botswana - Radio 2 Botswana BTV - Botswana TV

Learning material: Courses ... /Setswana/ ... -setswana/ ... ps-course/
An Introduction to Spoken Setswana ... na_000.pdf ... swana.html

Learning material: Books ... le-sephara Neo and the big wide world in Setwana, also available in English, so parallel text I think. - Stores in Setwana for children.
Grammar Book - ... n_Setswana

Books by the Missionary Robert Moffit: ... &q&f=false ... &q&f=false ... &q&f=false

Audio Books / Stories
Childrens books with narration in Setswana and other languages. :

Online material and links to information of interest

ANKI - There is one anki deck for this language.
ANKI - Deck I created based on the Peace Corps course.
Bible Translation: ... swanabible
Anki Deck with Peace Corp stuff


Other ... &locale=en ... le_phrases
Wikipedia in Setswana:

Language exchange ... it1=Search
2 x
: 4 / 100 100 Italian paperbacks:
: 306 / 75000 Output Challenge 2019 (普通话写作):

Lollygagging Podcast available on iTunes

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