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Do They Speak English in Angola?

Do They Speak English in Angola

Key Takeaways

Primary LanguagePortuguese
Prevalence of EnglishLimited, mainly in business and education sectors
Other Languages SpokenVarious African languages like Umbundu, Kikongo
Language in EducationPortuguese; English taught as a second language
Business LanguagePortuguese, with increasing English usage
Tourist CommunicationEnglish is understood in major cities and hotels


When it comes to the linguistic landscape of Angola, many wonder, “Do they speak English in Angola?” This question is particularly relevant for travelers, business professionals, and language enthusiasts. As Angola is a former Portuguese colony, Portuguese is the official language, but the use of English has been rising, especially in urban areas and amongst the younger population. In this article, we delve into the linguistic dynamics of Angola, exploring the prevalence and role of English in this culturally rich African nation.

The Linguistic Profile of Angola

Official Language: Portuguese

Portuguese, as the official language of Angola, dominates government, media, and education. It serves as a unifying language in a country with over 20 indigenous languages.

Prevalence of English in Angola

Despite the dominance of Portuguese, English is becoming increasingly prevalent in Angola, especially in the business sector and among the younger generation. It’s often taught as a second language in schools and is increasingly seen as a language of international communication.

English in Education

  • English is introduced at an early stage in many schools.
  • Higher education institutions often offer courses in English.

English in Business

  • Growing as a language of corporate communication.
  • International companies operating in Angola often use English.

Other Languages Spoken

In addition to Portuguese and English, Angola is home to a variety of African languages, such as Umbundu, Kikongo, and Kimbundu.

English in Urban vs Rural Areas of Angola

Urban Areas

  • Greater exposure to English.
  • English is more commonly understood and spoken in major cities like Luanda.

Rural Areas

  • Limited use and understanding of English.
  • Indigenous languages more prevalent.

Role of English in Angolan Culture and Media

Influence of Global Media

  • English-language films and music are popular, influencing the youth.
  • Social media and the internet increase exposure to English.

Cultural Exchange

  • Events and festivals featuring English-speaking countries contribute to the presence of English in Angola.

English in Angolan Tourism

Communication with Tourists

  • In tourist areas, English is more commonly spoken and understood.
  • Hotels and tour operators often have English-speaking staff.

Traveler Experience

  • Basic English is often sufficient for communication in major tourist destinations.

The Future of English in Angola

Education and Globalization

  • As Angola integrates more with the global economy, English is likely to play an increasing role.
  • Educational reforms may further emphasize English.

Business and Trade

  • English as a key language in international business will influence its use in Angola.


In summary, while Portuguese is the predominant language in Angola, the use of English is growing, particularly in urban areas, business, and education. For those asking, “Do they speak English in Angola?” the answer is increasingly affirmative, especially in contexts involving international communication, education, and tourism. As Angola continues to develop and integrate into the global community, the role of English is set to expand further.