Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Setswana Facts

from: http://www.ethnologue.com/14/show_language.asp?code=TSW
SIL code: TSW
ISO 639-1:
tn
ISO 639-2: tsn
Population
1,070,000 in Botswana (1993 Johnstone), 70% of the population. Population total all countries 4,000,000 (1999 WA).
Region
Spoken throughout the country as lingua franca, and as mother tongue primarily in the Southeast and Kgatleng districts, the eastern half of Southern and Kweneng districts, in the Serowe-Palapye and Mahalapye subdistricts of Central District, and around Maun village in Northwest District. Also spoken in Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe.
Alternate names
CHUANA, COANA, CUANA, SETSWANA, SECHUANA, BEETJUANS
Dialects
TLAHAPING (TLAPI), ROLONG, KWENA, KGATLA, NGWATU (NGWATO), TAWANA, LETE, NGWAKETSE, TLOKWA.
Classification
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.30), Tswana.
Comments
Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, and Tswana are largely inherently intelligible but have generally been considered separate languages. Standard Tswana uses Kgatla dialect. Used among the educated. Used more for spoken purposes than written. All ages. Vigorous use. 90% to 95% of children complete standard 7 in primary school. National language. Dictionary. Grammar. Literacy rate in first language: 80% to 90%. Officially used as language of instruction in grades 1-4 in all government primary schools. Often used for explanations through Standard 7 and first 2 years of secondary. Taught as a required subject in all secondary schools. Newspapers, magazines, radio programs, TV. Agriculturalists, pastoralists: cattle. Christian, traditional religion. Bible 1857-1993.
Also spoken in:
Namibia
Language name
TSWANA
Population
6,050 in Namibia (1991 census).
Dialects
TLHARO, TLHAPING, TAWANA.
Comments
Education, administration, radio broadcasting. National language. Radio programs. Pastoral: cattle, agriculturalists. Bible 1857-1993. See main entry under Botswana.

South Africa
Language name
TSWANA
Population
2,822,000 in South Africa (1995), 7.2% of the population (1995 The Economist).
Alternate names
TSIWAHA, BEETJUANS, CHUANA, COANA, CUANA, SECHUANA
Dialects
TAWANA, HURUTSHE, NGWAKETSE, THLARO, KWENA, NGWATO, TLOKWA, MELETE, KGATLA, THLAPING (TLAPI), ROLONG.
Comments
Close to Southern and Northern Sotho. National language. Newspapers, radio programs. Bible 1857-1993. See main entry under Botswana.

Zimbabwe
Language name
TSWANA
Population
29,350 in Zimbabwe (1969 census).
Alternate names
CHUANA, SECHUANA, COANA, CUANA, TSHWANA, BEETJUANS, CHWANA
Dialects
NGWATU (MANGWATO), TLHAPING.
Comments
Spoken by the Bakaka. Bible 1857-1993. See main entry under Botswana

14 comments:

lokokid said...

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Anonymous said...

heita! just recently i started trying to study the realations of my tribesmen(Bakwena) , and most importantly wanted to know their history and origins, the relationship between those in botswana and south africa.
any kind of help would be gratefully apreciated.
i do some researcher on different topics in my partime and just want to increase my knowledge.

montsho
(kwena ntle ya madiba)

Pula Solomon "Basie" Khunou said...

Hi,
This is an interesting website and article of the Batswana people (I'm uncomfortable with them being called Tswana). My comment relates to you calling the area where the Batswana live in South Africa as Bophuthatswana. You site is very disappointing for a PhD Student. Please note that the artificial Bantustan or homeland that used to be called Bophuthatswana no longer exist. The majority of Batswana can be found in South Africa, mainly in the North West Province. Others are in Gauteng, Northern Cape and Free State. The next concentration of Batswana can be found in Botswana where they comprise between 2/3 to 3/4 of the population. Others are in Namibia while other tribes are in Zimbabwe. Please be country-neutral in your approach. You seem to be biased towards Setswana and Batswana of Botswana who are the minority of all Setswana Speaking peoples.

Thank you for an interesting site and but get your facts straight next time.

Pula Solomon Khunou

Thaps said...

This is a response to Solomon Khunou. Speaking of the Batswana he says: "I'm uncomfortable with them being called Tswana". Mr. Khonou you better deal with your discomform for I indeed suppose you are familiar with Setswana linguistics with Tswana being the root which takes different prefixes such as /Mo-/, /Se-/, /Di-/ and /Ba-/. You could therefore accurately say Tswana people, Tswana dresses, Tswana land, etc. It is neither demeaning nor derrogatory to refer to the Batswana as "Tswana people".
The second point is that you find "Tswana people" mainly in English text. If we in Setswana call whites "Makgoa" - which some consider derrogatory and others don't - what is wrong with the English referring to Batswana as "The Tswana" for we are not dealing with Setswana morphology here?

Khunou says: "My comment relates to you calling the area where the Batswana live in South Africa as Bophuthatswana." If you looked very well in the blog, the information you refer to is copied from the Namibian education website. I have acknowledged that at the bottom. I do concede that because of the political change in South Africa, the interesting Setswana name Bophuthatswana has been replaced with that boring English name: "North West Province"!

Mr Khunou also contends that "Please be country-neutral in your approach. You seem to be biased towards Setswana and Batswana of Botswana who are the minority of all Setswana Speaking peoples."

The blog does cover all the countries where Setswana is spoken, possibly in varying degrees. I however disagree that "Batswana of Botswana are the minority of all Setswana Speaking peoples." The argument is false. The Batswana of Botswana are national percentage-wise the largest. They constitute anything between 85-95% of the population of Botswana. South African Batswana are only 14% of the entire SA population. Numerically Batswana of Botswana are second to South African with over a million native speakers while SA has just over 3 million speakers. The numbers in both Namibia and Zimbabwe are minute.

Khunou concludes: "Thank you for an interesting site and but get your facts straight next time." Thank you Mr. Khunou for your criticism, they may be peccadiloes on the blog, but it is by and large accurate. It will be great if the likes of Khunou could contribute data for the blogspot to add to the Setswana language resources on the web, instead of looking on the side and pontificating.

Anonymous said...

Moruele did not understand me!
My comment were well intentioned. We all err. The blog has errors of ommission and commision. An unwary non-Motswana may easily be led to wrong conclusion by some of these errors. The blog is good and I hope it will be even better.

thaps o nkutlwile ka tsa ga morakile mo dintlheng tse dingwe. Sekai, the minority issue. . The issue is, in statistical terms the Batswana from RSA are more (nearly 4 million 2001 census) than Batswana who are geographically outside RSA, hence the conclusion that the majority of Batswana are in RSA. The opposite is true i.e. ALL Botswana outside RSA are in the minority (in that context). Therefore the Batswana in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe are a minority compared to their kinsmen in RSA whose number is still more than double the population of ALL non South African ethnic Batswana. This is a fact and it does not in anyway trivialise the reality that ethnic Batswana form the larger majority of the population of Botswana or that hides from the Fact that South African Batswana are a one of the minority ethnic groups in RSA. Any demographer or statistician will agree with that.

As a lover of my fellow Batswana kinsmen in the Beautiful country of Botswana, mighty South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, I comment Thaps for job well done. My comments to his blog will be in private to avoid a dialogue.

Maybe I was to blunt in my earluer commnet (the lecturer in me). Do not be discouraged.

Modimo ke oo

Pula Solomon Basie Khunou
Tshwane University of Technology
Pretoria, gauteng Provice
Republic of South Africa

Thapelo Otlogetswe said...

I don't think there is a debate that there are more native Tswana speakers within South African boarders compared to those in other states - you are certainly right Khunou - close to 4 million in SA. But the statistics cannot be denied also that the South African 4-million accounts to only 14% of the entire South African population while just over a million Setswana mother-tongue speakers in Botswana amount to close to 90% of the Botswana population. What the percentage shows is what I term "linguistic concentration" within an area. Although there are more Batswana in South Africa they are less concentrated there, while they are concentrated in Botswana, although they are fewer in number there (understand?). Think about it this way: assume there are 1000 people in a room and 200 of those people are Batswana; and in a stadium there are 10,000 people and 250 of those people are Batswana - there is greater concentration of Batswana in the room than in a stadium although there are more Batswana in the stadium. The statistic does two things: it acknowledges what we call raw frequencies in corpus linguistics, but it also measures what I term "linguistic concentration". What Khunou does, is only focus on raw frequencies, which can be misleading.

What should be investigated however is the difference between Setswana as spoken in South Africa and Setswana as spoken in Botswana - the huge fight of word formation process. Here we will judge the degree of borrowing and codeswitching as opposed to coinage. A hypothesis could be : South African Batswana borrow, while Batswana of Botswana coin. The preliminary evidence could be that South African Batswana have /moporesidenta, mminisetara/, while Botswana Setswana has /tautona and tona/. What about problem cases where both say /baki, hêkê, kara/? To solve this we will need a corpus to get some quantitative data. And that's what we have been doing with the guys at the University of Pretoria where we have built a 13-million word Setswana corpus to quantitatively validate claims. This is work in progress and I have a section on my thesis on this subject. When my PhD thesis is done I want to focus more on putting Setswana material on the web. I hope others could join and develop web-pages in Setswana

KWENASETSO said...

i strongly disagree with you when u say standard setswana uses kgatla dialect,seo ga se nnete,ke kopa o itlhalose,its quite obvios that standard tswana consists all the major 8 tswana dialect,predominantly hurutshe,ngwaketse and rolong.

blog-designer said...

Kwenasetso. I hear you. You are actually not responding to me. You will see that the page you are responding to is from ethnologue.com, pasted here to enrich the blog. For me standard Setswana is predominantly SEKWENA and actually not all of the other Setswana dialects you refer to. I am here referring to Setswana as spoken in Molepolole.

Anonymous said...

KAnte goreng this blog ele ya Batswana and re busy re promoter Sekgoa?
Ke ka rata thata ha go ka atlenegiswa puo ya rona. So before you comment ask yourself why are you we communicating in a media thats not our's...
Pula

masego masinki said...

LE NNA KE SONE SE KE SE IPOTSAN JAAKA KE NGANA WA SETSWANA YO O ITHUTANG SETSWANA EBILE A SE RATA GA KE ITUMELELE KA FA BATSWANA BA RATANG SEKGOA KA TENG BA BO BA NYENYAFATSA SETSWANA SA BONE, EBILE SE SE BOTLHOKO MO UB RE RUTWA SETSWANA KA SEKGOA, DR OTLOGETSWE O A ITSE SE KE BUANG KA SONE.

Omphemetse said...

Dumelong ditsala! Do you know anything about bo Makone le Makwene and where they originaly come from I was born in Itereleng North West of South Africa.When we ask our grandmother about this she gets upset.If anyone has had a strory for other elders about the history please help :odj111@yahoo.com
Ke leboga
Omphemetse

Aubrey Mokone said...

Nna ga ke bone ele bothata go bua sekgoa mo polateforomong(platform) eno. Jaaka re le bantsho, re tshwantse re amogele gore maleme a rona ke itshupo(identity) hela. Setswana kgotsa lemele lengwe le lengwe la montsho ga le kitla le nna 'as functional as english'. Ntlha enngwe e ke ratang go e tlhagissa ke gore re tshwantse re ithute go amogela Batswana ba bangwe ba ba buang 'di-tswana' tse di sa tlhapang/tlhamalelang. Ke tsa me tseo.

Aubrey Mokone said...

By the way, I am not from Botswana. Ke t$wa k'ha Tlokwe (Potchefstroom, NW, RSA) k'ha. Ke mo-AforikaBorwa yo o ratang naga ya gaabo.

Ke rata hela folaga ya Botswana. Nna ke e tsaya jaaka letshwao(symbol) la Setswana gonne santlha hela fa ke e bona ke gopola Setswana.

amantle kegakilwe said...

Go tile common names ga gona Amantle Galaletsang Kedisaletse but I think ke maina mangwe a common