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The People of Nigeria, Language

Nupe, Ibibio, Kanuri, Jos Plateau, middle belt

Most Nigerians speak more than one language. English, the country’s official language, is widely spoken, especially among educated people. About 400 native Nigerian languages have been identified, and some are threatened with extinction. The most common of the native languages are Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo. Other major languages include Fulfulde, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, Efik, Edo, Ijo, and Nupe. The most widely used languages have several distinct regional dialects, and in some regions, such as the Jos Plateau and surrounding middle belt, hundreds of small groups make for wide linguistic variations across short distances. The two main trade languages are pidgin, a distinct language in which English is combined with native languages, and which is used commonly in the south, and Hausa, used mostly in the north.

Article key phrases:

Nupe, Ibibio, Kanuri, Jos Plateau, middle belt, Fulfulde, pidgin, Hausa, Ijo, native languages, extinction, Yoruba, Igbo, educated people, Nigerians, regions, south, English, Edo, Efik


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