Sesotho Language

Sesotho Language

Native to Lesotho, South Africa
Ethnicity Basotho
Native speakers at least 5 million (date missing)
Language family Niger–Congo
  • Atlantic–Congo
    • Benue–Congo
      • Bantoid
        • Southern Bantoid
          • Bantu
            • Southern Bantu
              • Sotho–Tswana
                • Sotho
Official status
Official language in Lesotho
South Africa
Regulated by Pan South African Language Board
Language codes
ISO 639-1 st
ISO 639-2 sot
ISO 639-3 sot
Guthrie code S.33
Linguasphere 99-AUT-ee incl. varieties 99-AUT-eea to 99-AUT-eee
The Sotho Language
person Mosotho
people Basotho
language Sesotho
country Lesotho

The Sotho /ˈsuːtuː/ language, also known as Sesotho, Southern Sotho, or Southern Sesotho, is a Bantu language spoken primarily in South Africa, where it is one of the 11 official languages, and in Lesotho, where it is the national language. It is an agglutinative language which uses numerous affixes and derivational and inflexional rules to build complete words.


  • The orthography used in this and related articles is that of South Africa, not Lesotho. For a discussion of the differences between the two see the notes on Sesotho orthography.
  • Hovering the mouse cursor over most italic Sesotho text should reveal an IPA pronunciation key (excluding tones).

Read more about Sesotho Language:  Classification, Dialects, Geographic Distribution, Derived Languages, Phonology, Grammar, See Also

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