In this series of articles we overview languages present in any given country. This time we are looking at the languages spoken in Botswana

The biggest languages present in Botswana include:

  • English – 611 thousand speakers
  • Setswana – 1.83 million speakers
  • Kalanga – 118 thousand speakers
  • Sekgalagadi – 71 thousand speakers
  • Shona – 47 thousand speakers
  • Mbukshu – 24 thousand speakers
  • Ndebele – 24 thousand speakers
  • Tshwa – 24 thousand speakers

The following languages are legally recognized as the “official languages” of the country:

  • English
  • Setswana

Below you will find summaries for the languages supported by our translation services.


English is a Germanic language, which is a branch of the Indo-European language family. It is one of the official languages of Botswana, alongside 2 other.

English language summary
Number of speakers worldwide1.15 billion
Language familyIndo-European
WritingEnglish alphabet
Major English-speaking populations in:35 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

There are major English-speaking populations in more than 30 countries of the world. Italian, Pakistani, and Russian markets, for example, might be expected to use English in business and daily communications, at least to some extent.

Less than 50% of the population speaks English on a daily basis, but the number of speakers is still significant for the country – around 611 thousand.


The English alphabet is used for writing the English language. It employs the standard version of the script with no additional, language-specific symbols.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Botswanian market via the English language, you might be interested in the following services:

Related services

We hope you have found the answers to the question about what languages are spoken in Botswana“. If you wish to know more about these languages or would like to inquire about our translation services, please contact us at [email protected].

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