, also known as Setswana
, is a Bantu
language. Tswana is the national language of Botswana
, whose people are the Batswana
(singular Motswana). The majority of Tswana speakers are in South Africa
(where it is an official language), but there are also speakers in Zimbabwe
. Internationally there are about 4 million speakers. Before South Africa became a democratic contry, the bantustan
was set up to cover the Tswana speakers of South Africa.
Setswana is one of the so-called Bantu languages, belonging to the Niger-Congo language family. It is most closely related to two other languages in the Sotho language group, Sesotho (Southern Sotho) and Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa). It has also been known as Beetjuans, Chuana, Coana, Cuana, and Sechuana.