Yes, we’re not there in terms of making Africa the #1 holiday destination people think of going to next, but it’s rising! South Africa especially attracts a lot of visitors from across the world, visitors who want to see the beautiful nature, the wildlife and experience the many adventures!
Whether you are visiting the continent for tourism, volunteering, vacation or any other reason, it’s always nice to be able to speak a few words in the native language – the locals always appreciate it when you try, and it’s always a great way to bond :).
Scroll below for some language apps you WILL want to download before your trip to the African continent, or if like me you just enjoy learning new languages for the fun of it!
Your African dictionary…
#1 – African Translator Dictionary
This free app translates words and text between different African languages including Afrikaans, Arabic, English, French, Hausa, Igbo, Portuguese, Somali, Swahili, Yoruba and Zulu.
It’s a very useful app for easy and fast translations and can conveniently be used as a portable dictionary, similar to Google Translate. In fact, some of the services may contain translations powered by Google.
Whether you are a student, a tourist, a traveler or just interested in learning words in different language, this app will help you to learn the main languages spoken on the continent!
Visiting the South…
#2 – Zivo, the App that wants to teach everyone an African language (Southern Africa)
This app was designed by a Zimbabwean app developer, Greg Kawere. The scope here is larger than just teaching an African language; the goal is also to use technology to preserve African culture.
With this Duolinguo of African languages, you’ll be able to learn Swahili, Zulu, Shona, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Tswana, Venda, Swati, Sepedi, Tsonga, Ndebele, Hausa, Igbo and Oromo
#3 – The 11 Languages of South Africa Language Translation App
Since South Africa is a top destination, I’ve decided to select an App that can help you navigate and communicate in all the 11 official languages of the Country.
This app will help you learn the basic conversational phrases to get around and converse with people in each of the 11 languages spoken in South Africa. The Audio will allow you to clearly hear the proper pronunciation as you are learning. There is also a section about the culture behind the ethnic groups that speak the language as well as some cultural information on the South African Peoples.
Compatible with Android & Apple
#4 –Swahili Spy: The African Language
I could’ve shared a couple of Apps that focus on more Eastern African languages, but this one is too cool not to share! The App introduces a unique approach of learning Kiswahili, by embarking on a mission which will take you to several cities across Africa!
Each level is a training facility and you will have to sharpen your Swahili skills to get through each level; each level represents a category of words that you will learn (animals, numbers, etc.). Who said learning a new language couldn’t be fun?!
Another plus: this app doesn’t require an internet connection so it’s perfect for people who are on the go! You will get to lea
The Wild Wild West
#5 – Àsà
Genii Games’ Àsà, which means “culture” in Yoruba, has developed about a dozen apps, all targeted at children 2 to 12 years old and adults who want to learn a new language – at the beginner level. The mobile apps present various aspects of African culture: languages, folktales, etiquette, cultural values, and more.
The multiple Apps developed cater to learning the Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba languages, which collectively represent some 79 million speakers worldwide, most of whom are located in the West African states of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo.
Definitely worth a try as it encompasses more than just “Language”.
Unfortunately I didn’t come across any Apps that focused on languages in North Africa (or even anything relating to the variances of the Arabic dialect in the North of Africa), so I guess you’ll have to stick with option 1 above.
If you have come across any cool apps not listed in the ones I’ve selected above, please share them with us by commenting below!