Northern Ndebele language

Spoken in

  • Niger - Congo languages Benue - Congo languages Bantoide languages Bantu languages Nguni languages isiNdebele




(Northern) isiNdebele is the second major addition to Shona language in Zimbabwe, spoken by about 2 million amaNdebele mainly in Matabeleland.

In the north- east of Botswana and the Caprivi Strip of Namibia together about 100,000 speakers of this language will be appreciated. It belongs to the Nguni languages. The language spoken in South Africa South Ndebele other hand, is more likely attributed to the Sotho - Tswana languages. Between the two language areas is that of the Venda and the Northern Sotho.


Ndebele, isiNdebele, Sindebele, this table are Tebele


History of amaNdebele

In the early 19th century, the amaNdebele separated from the Zulu and moved westward, first in the area of ​​today's Pretoria, where the name came up as a foreign designation by neighboring peoples Ndebele. Part of the Ndebele stayed there. In their language to elements of Nguni and Sotho - Tswana languages ​​combined. The greater part moved on into what is now Zimbabwe and subjected the resident Shona. The language of the Zimbabwean Ndebele hardly contains elements of Sotho - Tswana languages.

Linguistic feature

Most African languages ​​have either R or L; isiNdebele is a language with L. Some words which are spoken in other Bantu languages ​​with R, Ndebele have on an L and are otherwise similar. In addition, Ndebele characterized by clicking sounds.

Pronunciation of the letters

Pronunciation of clicking sounds