Published February 17, 2019
This video was recorded by Daniel Bogre Udell in Cape Town, South Africa and features Olaniyan Olushola speaking Yoruba. Yoruba was spoken in Nigeria by roughly 18,900,000 people as of a 1993 census cited by Ethnologue, with an additional 500,000 speakers outside of Nigeria. However, the language population is growing and more recent estimates run closer to 30 million international speakers. As a Benue-Congo language, Yoruba belongs to the Altaic-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Yoruba is closely related to the Itsekiri language of the Niger Delta and the Igala language of central Nigeria. Standard Yoruba has its origins in religious translation of the Bible in the 1850s and is the variety taught in schools and written down, however there is controversy over whether it constitutes a truly spoken form of Yoruba. Yoruba was first written in the Arabic Ajami script beginning in the 17th century, but has since transitioned to an altered Latin alphabet. In addition to the impact of English by Christian influence, the presence of Islam in the region has introduced many Arabic loanwords to the Yoruba language.