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Index / Languages /
Nilo-Saharan languages

By language
Figures in 1000.
Dinka 3,000 %
Nuer 1,400 %
Fur 1,000 %
Nubian 920 %
Nobiin 600 %
Kenuzi-Dongola 320 %
Shilluk 330 %
Bari 480 %
Masalit 280 %
Korandje 8 %
5 %
Other (63+) 2,500 %
Total 9,900 %
By country
Figures in 1000.
Sudan 9,500 24.0%
Egypt 370 0.5%
Algeria 8 <0.1%
Libya 5 0.1%

Family of languages that are spoken in North African countries with territory in Sahara, most in Sudan where there are about 9.5 million. One of the Nilo-Saharan languages of Sudan is also in use in Egypt: Nubian. The one language of Libya, Tedega, belongs to a language of Chad which is unnaturally cut in two by modern borders. The language of Algeria is quite fascinating, Korandje is spoken by a people that is kind of lost deep in the desert.
There are about 200 different Nilo-Saharan languages, counting a total of 20-25 million speakers. This makes it one of the smaller language families in Africa.
Nilo-Saharan languages are then bordered to the east by Cushitic and Semitic; to the north again by Semitic; to the west and south Niger-Congo. Some scholars have suggested to merge the Niger-Congo and the Nilo-Saharan families.

By Tore Kjeilen