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Question: Identify Three languages spoken in Malawi according to language mapping survey and discuss three factors that have contributed to how these language are distributed in Malawi
Three languages spoken in Malawi, according to the Language Mapping Survey, are Chichewa (also known as Nyanja), Chitumbuka, and Chiyao. 1. Chichewa: Chichewa, also known as Nyanja, is an official language in Malawi and the most widely spoken one. As a Bantu language, it is spoken mainly in the central and southern regions of the country. The majority of the population speaks Chichewa primarily due to the influence of the Chewa people, who have the largest population demography in Malawi. 2. Chitumbuka: Chitumbuka is also a Bantu language primarily spoken in the Northern region of Malawi. This language is the primary language of the Tumbuka people, who occupy the region. It is also spoken in parts of Zambia and Tanzania. 3. Chiyao: Chiyao is another Bantu language, spoken primarily in the Southern region of Malawi by the Yao people. The Yao region stretches from east and central Malawi to parts of Tanzania and Mozambique. Three factors that have contributed to the distribution of these languages in Malawi include: 1. Ethnic distribution: The distribution of languages in Malawi is profoundly influenced by the presence and settlement of various ethnic groups in the country. The Chewa, Tumbuka, and Yao people have settled in different regions, and with each group predominantly speaking their native language, it has led to the regional linguistic distribution. 2. History and migrations: The historical migrations and movements of Bantu-speaking people have played a significant role in the linguistic distribution of the nation. As these groups moved from one region to another, they brought their distinct languages with them. 3. Political and administrative influence: In 1968, Chichewa was declared as the official language of Malawi by the first president, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Since then, the Chichewa language has witnessed a rapid spread across the country, influencing its linguistic landscape. The usage of Chichewa in education, media, and administration has contributed to its widespread popularity and acceptance as the primary national language.
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