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

The biggest languages present in Democratic Republic of the Congo include:

  • French – 44.78 million speakers;
  • Lingala – 8.06 million speakers;
  • Swahili – 8.96 million speakers;
  • Kikongo – 1.79 million speakers;
  • Tshiluba – 5.37 million speakers;
  • Luba-Shaba – 896 thousand speakers;
  • Ngala – 2.69 million speakers;
  • Songe – 896 thousand speakers;

The sole official language of the country is French.

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


French is a Romance language, closely related to Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, and other languages of the same branch of the language family. It is the sole official language of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

French language summary
Number of speakers worldwide274 million
Language familyIndo-European
WritingFrench alphabet
Major French-speaking populations in:49 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

French is spoken by around 274 million people around the world. With regard to the number of speakers, the most notable 3 countries are France, Canada, and Switzerland.

Less than 50% of the population speaks French on a daily basis, but the number of speakers is still significant for the country – around 44.78 million.


The French alphabet is used for writing the French language. Being a subset of the Latin script, it uses some non-standard characters like à, â, æ, ç, overall 16 symbols.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Congolese market via the French 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 Democratic Republic of the Congo“. 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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