Language Variety in Sesotho
Firstly it is
important to keep in mind that Sesotho is part of the Sotho language subgroup
(also known as Tswana or Western Sotho) and
sa Leboa (also known as Northern Sotho or by the dialect
In terms of dialects the following varieties of Sesotho exist: Sekwena, Sephuthi, Setlokwa and Setaung in the central region; Sekgolokwe in the north eastern region as well as Serotse (Selozi). Yet it can be said that a degree of uniformity exist due to the isolation of the Sesotho language communities - especially in Lesotho.
Furthermore two forms of orthographical representation are used for Sesotho: South African Sesotho (SASe) and the Sesotho of Lesotho (LSe). This website mainly uses the South African Sesotho orthography. Here are some examples that show how the two orthographies differ:
|Ke a bona.||Kea bona.||I see.|
|nna ke||'na ke||I am ...|
|O phela jwang?||U phela joang?||How are you?|
|O ya kae?||O ea kae?||Where is he/she going?|
In 1945 J.M. Nhlapo suggested a common orthography for Sotho - not only within the Sesotho language but for all the Sotho languages (including Northern Sotho and Setswana). Yet this unified or harmonised Sotho never realised.
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© J. Olivier (2009)