Central African People and Languages

A Bantu woman pounding manioc
 Copyright by Michelle Klailova
 BaAka woman with traditional facial tatoo
 A group of BaAka women
 Babies are usually carried on the back to have both hands free

CAR is populated by 11 ethnic groups. The most numerous are the Gbaya, Banda and Bantu. In the South, in the rainforest, live the BaAka pygmies. CAR is a united country that is home to some very different populations. In the North one can meet groups of Arabic and Saharan origin. The East is inhabited by people of Neolithic descent. In the South groups of Bantus and pygmies are living, practicing hunter-gathering in the forest. Across the country as a whole one can encounter Peul nomads.

Beside French, CAR is noteworthy for possessing a national (local) language, Sango, which is spoken by the vast majority of residents and constitutes an important factor in uniting the country. Sango developed from the Ngbandi language, a dialect used in trade along the Oubangui River.

For the BaAka pygmies, language has all times constituted an important link with the outside world and with other ethnic groups. This explains why

This explained why it often of the language of their neighbours, that are the origin after Bantus, it availed itself. Because their neighbours changed and therefore also not always spoke the same language, the language of the BaAka was likewise submitted and taken up many foreign words to a constant change.