Kongo language

Spoken in

  • Niger - Congo languages Benue - Congo languages Bantoide languages Bantu languages Kikongo




Kikongo (also: Congo, on Kikongo kikóóngó ) is a common in the west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Cabinda and Angola in Northwest Bantu language with 3 million speakers, mostly Congo.

She is one of the national languages ​​of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west and has a special meaning in education, broadcasting and the press. Dominant in all areas, however, the French. In the Republic of Congo is mainly the simplified form of the language Kituba, used by half of the population.

Kituba and Kikongo ya léta

In Congo Munukutuba applies ( or since the constitutional reform Kituba, also Munu Kutuba ) as a national language ( langue nationale). This is a used as a trade language simplified form of Kikongo, which is understood by the different dialect speakers of Kikongo and also used on the actual distribution area of ​​the Kikongo beyond. Although in the Democratic of Congo is Kikongo language, but the simplified form of the Kituba is also used in the management of which, however, there as Kikongo ya léta ( kikongo for: Government Kikongo ) is called.


A way of writing began, apart from the Semitic peoples of East Africa, very early for African conditions. The earliest writings date from the 16th century. The Italian Capuchin Friar Bonaventura da Sardegna was the first author of a grammar for Kikongo during a mission trip to the Kingdom of Kongo 1645 Shortly after Hiacinto Brusciotto de Vertralla wrote another grammar.:

  • Regulae quaedam per difficillini congensium idiomatics faciliori captu ad grammaticae normam redactae. Romae: Typis S. Congreg. de Propoganda Fide, 1659th


Kikongo is one of the Bantu languages. Malcolm Guthrie classifies the Kikongo dialects in the group H10 as follows:

  • H16 Kikongo H16a mid Kikongo
  • H16b central Kikongo
  • H16c Yombe
  • H16D Fiote
  • H16D Western Kikongo
  • H16e Bwende
  • H16f Lari
  • H16g Eastern Kikongo
  • H16h southeastern Kikongo

The other languages ​​of the group are Bembe H10 ( H11), Vili ( H12 ), Kunyi ( H13 ), Ndingi ( H14 ) and Mboka ( H15 ). The classifications of Baston, Coupez and Man, called Tervuren'sche classification, and that of the SIL are new and accurate in distinguishing the languages ​​and dialects of the Guthrie'schen group H10.

Example words