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Picture Languages

Sotho speaking countries

Sotho is the official language in Lesotho and South Africa but is not spoken in any other countries. The Sotho language (native name: Sesotho) has its roots in the Niger–Congo language family.

With a share of around 85%, it is most widespread in Lesotho. A total of about 6.3 m people worldwide speak Sotho as their mother tongue.

Distribution Sotho

CountryRegionOfficial languageDistributionTotal
South AfricaSouthern Africayes7.6 %4,507,000
LesothoSouthern Africayes85.0 %1,821,000



Unless otherwise described in the text, this page is about native speakers - not the total number of speakers. How many people understand or speak Sotho as a subsequently learned language is not the subject of this page. Countries where native speakers make up only a few thousand or even a few hundred people, or countries with a percentage well below 1%, are maybe not listed here.