Polyglotta Africana

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Polyglotta Africana was a study written by Sigismund Wilhelm Koelle in 1854 in which he compared African languages with one another.

It comprises around 200 word lists (296 carefully selected entries each) and was groundbreaking at the time. According to today's classification, there are around 120 languages. He used a standardized comprehensive alphabet and standardized, consistent spelling .


  • Sigismund W. Koelle, PE Hair: Polyglotta Africana: Or a Comparative Vocabulary of Nearly Three Hundred Words and Phrases in More than Hundred Distinct African Languages. Academic Printing and Publishing Establishment, Graz 1963, ISBN 3-201-00766-8 . (Reprinted from the London 1854 edition)