Translation and Localization for Africa: The Republic of South Sudan

July 18, 2017

South Sudan, officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in northeastern Africa bordered by Ethiopia to the east, Uganda to the south, Sudan to the north, the Central African Republic to the west and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest.


South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011. However, gaining independence did not end conflicts in South Sudan. The 2013-2015 civil war displaced over two million people and threatened the success of one of the world's newest independent countries.

South Sudan Demographics


  • The population is approximately 13 million.

  • The GDP hit a record low of $9 billion in 2015.

  • Juba is the capital and largest city with a population of roughly
    360,000 people.

South Sudan Languages

  • South Sudan is a multilingual country with over 60 indigenous languages spoken.

  • English, which was introduced in the region during the colonial era, is the official language of South Sudan.

  • An Arabic dialect known as Juba Arabic is spoken in Juba.

  • The indigenous languages with the highest number of speakers are Dinka, Nuer, Bari and Zande.

South Sudan Culture

  • South Sudan is made up of a mix of rich and deeply rooted traditional tribal cultures.

  • A majority of people are classified as either following traditional indigenous beliefs or Christianity and 18% are Muslim.

  • Polygamy is the most common form of marriage in South Sudan.

  • 52% of girls in South Sudan are married before their 18th birthday. (UNICEF)

  • The flag of South Sudan is said to be older than the country itself as the flag was adopted in 2005 after the agreement between Sudan and South Sudan, but the country didn't gain independence until 2011.

South Sudan Consumers

  • The official currency is the South Sudanese pound.

  • Only 17% of the population have access to the internet.

  • The economy is one of the world's most underdeveloped, due to little existing infrastructure. Most villages in the country have no electricity or running water.

  • The main industries are: oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments and automobile/light truck assembly.

South Sudan's Future


South Sudan is still a young country with high rates of turmoil and poverty. It has the third largest refugee crisis with more than two million people internally displaced, after Syria and Afghanistan. Long-term challenges for peace and economic success include diversifying income resources, fighting poverty, improving the business environment and renouncing harmful social practices. The country must handle its massive humanitarian crisis before it can hope for a prosperous future.

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.



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Waleed is a native Arabic speaker born in Menofeya (the northern part of the Nile Delta), Egypt. He is Adobe Certified Expert. He has over 13 years’ experience in multilingual design, desktop publishing and localization engineering. Over the years he has worked for localization and design companies verso and Future-Group working in the documentation desktop publishing and design departments. He also has comprehensive training and experience in many localization and CAT tools. He holds an array of professional certifications including, Adobe's ACE (Adobe Certified Expert), Adobe's Digital Imaging certification, CIW’s Certified Internet Webmaster and Programmer, IBM Web Programmer and Macromedia Designer and extensive application experience with the Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft products. He is a graduate from Menoufia University with a B.A in English Language and Literature. His hobbies include gardening, swimming and traveling.