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3.4.a. Angola

The Portuguese is the official language of Angola. In 1983, 60% of the inhabitants had declared that the Portuguese is their mother tongue, even if some estimates indicate that 70% of the population speak one of the native languages as first or second language.

Beyond the Portuguese, Angola shelters about eleven main linguistic groups, that can be subdivided in various dialects (about ninety). The main languages are: Umbundu, spoken for the Ovimbundu group (central part of the country); Kikongo, spoken for the Bakongos, to the north, and Chokwe-Lunda and Kioko-Lunda, both to the northeast. There is also the Kimbundu, spoken by the Mbundos, Mbakas, Ndongos and Mbondos, related groups that occupy part of the coast, including the capital, Luanda.

Perhaps because of this original linguistic variety, the Portuguese finished by becoming a sort of lingua franca, that facilitated the communication between the diverse groups. In contact with the native languages, the Portuguese also suffered modifications, originating some Creole speeches, known as small Portuguese, or popularly, as pretoguês (black Portuguese).

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