Translation and Localization for Africa: Central African Republic

February 1, 2017 Sakina Sultanova

In this blog, I will discuss some brief, but important facts about the Central African Republic (CAR), which is a landlocked country located in Central Africa. It shares borders with Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo.

CAR Demographics

  • The capital and largest city is Bangui.

  • Total land area is around 620,000 sq. km.

  • The estimated population is 4.7 million.

  • The currency exchange: Central African CAF franc (XAF)= 0.0016 USD.

CAR Languages

  • There are approximately 120 languages in the CAR.

  • The official languages are: French and Sangho.

  • 92% of the population speak Sangho.

  • Almost all of the native languages belong to the Ubangian language family.

  • There are also some Bantu, Congo-Brazzaville and Bongo-Bagirmi languages.

CAR Culture

  • The most common food dishes are Bushmeat (wild meat), cassava (nutrient-rich root vegetable), chicken and cumin stew, chichinga (skewered and barbecued goat or fish, such as Nile perch), fruits and vegetables.

  • They produce local beer from ginger, some palm wine, liquor made from the sap of palm trees and banana wine.

  • Religion: most of the population follow various forms of Christianity. Islam is now growing because of immigration.

  • People in the CAR believe that death is the consequence of ill will. Cemeteries are mandatory in some areas and burials were introduced by Christians and Muslims.

  • The major hospital is in Bangui, but there are some small mission operated clinics. The most common causes of death are malaria, AIDS and meningitis.

CAR Consumers

  • Central Africans grow their own manioc, sorghum, corn, peanuts, sesame and squash.

  • The primary commercially produced product is peanut oil.

  • Most of their products are imported from other nearby African countries, Asia and Europe.

  • Central Africans trade cotton, coffee and tobacco, which are grown by around 80% of the local population.

CAR Future

  • Since its independence from France in 1960, the Central African Republic has not been very stable.

  • It is very rich in diamonds, gold, oil and uranium.

  • The country is currently undergoing transitions, like constitutional reform, presidential and parliamentary elections.

  • CAR is a legendary hunting destination. The well-known species for hunting are the Lord Derby Eland called by Africans ‘the ghost antelope’, the Bongo and the Greater Kudu of Western Africa. In total, there are around 208 species of mammals for hunting, including 23 species of antelope.


The Central African Republic is a developing African country, it is not a typical tourist destination, but it is a very popular destination for hunting. Numerous tourism companies organize guided hunts and tours for hunters from around the world. Although the country is very rich with diamonds and gold, the population is one of the poorest in the world.

Additional Resources on Africa and African Language Translation

In order to support the growing needs of our clients for many of the African and Middle Eastern languages, GPI has opened offices in Dubai, UAE and Cairo, Egypt to support our clients doing business in the Middle East and Africa. GPI has built teams of professional native speakers for many of the African languages whether national or indigenous, who are available to help companies with their African language translations needs.

Feel free to review our blogs and eBooks that are particularly relevant:

Please feel free to contact GPI at with any questions about our translation services. Also let us know if you have any interesting topics you would like us to cover in future blogs. You may also request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects if you are considering a specific translation project.



About the Author

Sakina Sultanova

Global Account Services Manager. Sakina is originally from Azerbaijan and is now living and working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She fluently speaks 5 languages including Azeri, Russian, Turkish, English and Chinese. In high school, she was an exchange student in Alabama, United States of America. She graduated from Baku State University, faculty of Oriental Studies (China). She has 8 years’ experience in different fields of Business Development, Office Management, Translation and Teaching. She has worked in international companies owned by Chinese, Turkish and British firms, providing her diverse experience with different cultures and business protocols and customs. She has solid experience as well in sales, researching, customer relations and business planning. She is a proud mother of 2 year old baby-girl. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and playing outdoors.

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