Picture Languages

Sotho speaking countries

Sotho is an 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 4.51 million native speakers, Sotho has the highest prevalence in South Africa. As a percentage of the total population, the largest share of around 85 percent is in Lesotho. A total of about 6.5 million people worldwide speak Sotho as their mother tongue.
Distribution Sotho

CountryRegionOfficial languageDistributionTotal
South AfricaSouthern Africayes7.6 %4,514,000
LesothoSouthern Africayes85.0 %1,939,000

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 unlikely to be listed here.