The Sotho 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 Sesotho Language has over 5 million speakers across southern Africa and is very closely related to the two fellow bantu languages, “Setswana” and “Sepedi”. Many Southern African speakers of the three languages disagree about the relationship between the three languages, but agree that their development may have been due to the similarities in the three cultures from which they originate, i.e Batswana, Basotho and Bapedi. In the Traditional Sesotho Calture, the term Bafokeng refers to one particular clan, of the many Sesotho clans, whose culture and traditions are most similar to those of the Batswana.
Interestingly, the Batswana sometimes refer to themselves as Bafokeng. Before the victory of the white people over the land previously predominated by the Sotho-tswana people, present day Free state and North West provinces of the South African country were dominated by the speakers of the three languages, with Batswana dominating the majority of the northern regions, the Bapedi dominating the central regions, and the Basotho dominating the southern regions (which constitute present day Lesotho). This may have led to the reference of the first and latta as North and South Sotho respectively.
However, these are only two of many southern African languages with which the language shares very recent common ancestry, which include the Zulu language, the Xhosa Language and the Swazi language.
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