The four national languages of DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world, with over 200 languages spoken in the country. While French is the official language and widely used in education and government, there are four national languages: Kituba (Kikongo), Lingala, Swahili, and Tshiluba. The map below shows the distribution of speakers of each language in each of the country’s territories.

The distribution of speakers for each of the four national languages is mostly clustered in four parts of the country. Lingala is more widely spoken in the northwest, Swahili in the east, Kituba in the southwest, and Tshiluba in the southeast. It is also important to note that the spread of speakers of Kituba and Tshiluba is much more concentrated.