Khoisan languages

group of African language families with click consonants

Khoisan languages is the name for a group of languages that are spoken in Southern Africa. All of these languages have click consonants, and they are not part of the Niger–Congo languages, the Nilo-Saharan languages, or the Afroasiatic languages. These languages are not in one common language family, there are at least three such families. There are also some language isolates on the territory where Khoisan languages can be found. It is not possible to construct or find a language that is the common ancestor of the other languages.

Khoisan lanuages in Africa are shown in yellow.

The San, Khoekhoe, Damara, Nama, as well as the Hadza and Sandawe are all speakers of Khoisan languages.

Many of these languages only have very few speakers, or they have become extinct. Many are only spoken, and not written. The only widespread Khoisan language is Khoekhoe (also known as Khoekhoegowab, Nàmá or Damara) of Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, with a quarter of a million speakers; Sandawe in Tanzania is second in number with some 40–80,000, some monolingual; and the ǃKung language of the northern Kalahari spoken by some 16,000 or so people. Language use is quite strong among the 20,000 speakers of Naro, in Botswana and in eastern Namibia, half of whom speak it as a second language.