Ethnologue: Areas: Africa

Mozambique

17,913,000 (1995). Republic of Mozambique. República de Mocambique. Literacy rate 14%; 15.8% (1977 C. M. Brann). Also includes Chinese 7,000, from India 15,000. Information mainly from Afido, et al 1989. Data accuracy estimate: B. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim, secular. Blind population 28,000 (1982 WCE). The number of languages listed for Mozambique is 33.

CHOPI (SHICHOPI, COPI, CICOPI, SHICOPI, TSCHOPI, TXOPI, TXITXOPI) [CCE] 760,000 (1993 Johnstone). Southern coast, north of Limpopo River. Center is Quissico, southern part of Zavala District, approximately 100 km. coastal strip between Inharrime and Chidunguela. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Chopi (S.60). Dialects: COPI, NDONGE, LENGUE (LENGE, KILENGE), TONGA, LAMBWE, KHAMBANI. 57 dialects, all inherently intelligible. 44% lexical similarity with GiTonga. About half of the speakers understand Tswa. About 10% literate. Distinct from Chopi (Dhopaluo), a dialect of Acholi of Uganda. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions 1910-1986. Work in progress.

CHWABO (CHICHWABO, CHUABO, CHWAMPO, CUABO, CICUABO, CUAMBO, CHUAMBO, TXUWABO, LOLO, ECHUWABO, ECHUABO) [CHW] 664,279 (1980 census). Central coast between Quelimane and the Mlanje Mts. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30). Dialects: CENTRAL CHWABO, ECKARUMGU. Chwabo of Makusi District and Marrare have 78% lexical similarity with each other (closest). Grammar. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim. NT 1978.

KOTI (COTI, EKOTI, AKOTI, ANGOCHE, ANGOXE) [EKO] 41,287 (1980 census). Nampula Province, Angoche District, coastal around Angoche Island and other islands of the Archipelago from Moma to Angoche. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30). Probably a separate language within the Makua group. Closest to Sakaji. Close to Maka and Makhuwa. Koti used by all ages in home, market, and trading. Those above 15 can use Makhuwa (trading, contacts with neighbors) or Maka, Portuguese (school, church, government), but little Swahili or Arabic. 20% are literate in Portuguese. Survey needed.

KUNDA (CHIKUNDA, CIKUNDA, CHICUNDA) [KDN] 3,258 in Mozambique (1980 census); 29,000 in Zimbabwe (1993 Johnstone); 100,000 in all countries (1971 Welmers). Around confluence of the Luangwe and Zambezi rivers. Also in Zambia. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Senga-Sena (N.40), Sena. Closer to Nyungwe than to Sena. Distinct from Kunda which is a dialect of Nyanja, and apparently distinct from Kunda of Zaïre. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible portions 1988. Work in progress.

LOMWE (NGULU, INGULU, NGURU, MIHAVANE, MIHAVANI, MIHAWANI, WESTERN MAKUA, LOMUE, ILOMWE, ELOMWE, ALOMWE, WALOMWE, CHILOWE, CILOWE, ACILOWE, LOLO) [NGL] 1,300,000 in Mozambique (1991); 1,550,000 in Malawi (1993); 2,850,000 in all countries. Northeast and central, most of Zambezia Province, southern Nampula Province. The prestige center is Alto Molocue, Zambezia. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30). Closest to Makhuwa, Chwabo. Different from Ngulu (Kingulu) of Tanzania. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim. NT 1930-1983. Bible portions 1917-1993. Work in progress.

MAKHUWA-MACA (MACA, MAKA, EMAKA, KHINGA, EKHINGA, TTHWARI, ETTHWARI, MWIKARI, EMWUIKARI, COASTAL MAKHUWA) [XMC] 300,000 to 400,000 (1989). Coast of central Delgado Province from Moma to Mozambique Island. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30). Dialects: ENAHARRA (MAHARRA, NAHARRA, NAHARA), EMPAMELA (NAMPAMELA), ENLAI (MULAI), EMAREVONE (MAREVONE, MARREVONE). Probably a separate language within the Makua group. South Maca appears to be significantly different from North Maca and from Makhuwa-Makhwana. Muslim. Survey needed.

MAKHUWA-MAKHUWANA (MAKHUWANA, MAKUANA, EMAKHUWANA) [VMW] 2,500,000 (1996). Nampula, south of Meeto area. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30). Bible 1982. Bible portions 1927-1946.

MAKHUWA-METTO (MAKUA, IMAKUA, MAKOA, MAKOANE, MATO, MAQUOUA, KIMAKUA, MACUA) [MAK] 1,500,000 in Mozambique (1996); 360,000 in Tanzania (1993); 7,000 in Comoros Islands (1993); 1,867,000 in all countries. North central, Cabo Delgado. Also possibly in Malawi. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30). Dialects: MEDO (METO, METTO, EMETO, EMEETTO), SAKA (ESAKA). Emeto has 81% to 88% lexical similarity with Esaka, 78% to 82% with Enahara, 78% to 80% with Makhuwana, 66% to 68% with Lomwe. Dictionary. Grammar. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian.

MAKHUWA-SHIRIMA (WEST MAKUA, XIRIMA, ESHIRIMA, CHIRIMA, SHIRIMA, MAKHUWA-NIASSA) [VMK] 900,000 (1996). Center may be Mada, south of the Lugenda River in Niassa Province. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30). Probably not intelligible with the Metto dialect of Makhuwa. Survey needed.

MAKONDE (CHIMAKONDE, CHINIMAKONDE, CIMAKONDE, KONDE, MAKONDA, MACONDE, SHIMAKONDE, MATAMBWE) [KDE] 360,000 in Mozambique (1993 Johnstone) including 12,000 in Ndonde (1980); 900,000 in Tanzania (1993); 1,260,000 in all countries. Northeast Mozambique. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Yao (P.20). Dialects: VADONDE (DONDE, NDONDE), VAMWALU (MWALU), VAMWAMBE (MWAMBE), VAMAKONDE (MAKONDE). Closely related to Maviha, which may be a dialect. Isolated. Speakers are reserved toward outsiders. Grammar. Woodcarvers, agriculturalists. Muslim, traditional religion, Christian. Work in progress.

MAKWE (KIMAKWE, PALMA) [YMK] 20,000 to 30,000 (1993). Cabo Delgado Province, on the coast north of Pemba; Palma, Quianga, south to Vamizi Island, and interior along the Rovuma River. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Swahili (G.40). Dialects: COASTAL MAKWE (PALMA), INTERIOR MAKWE. 60% lexical similarity with Swahili, 57% with Mwani, 48% with Yao. Not inherently intelligible with Swahili. All men appear to speak Swahili, all women understand it. Most Palma men can speak Mwani. Most Rovuma people can speak Makonde. Those who have been to school can read Portuguese or Swahili. Motivation for literacy is high. Muslim. Survey needed.

MANYIKA (CHIMANYIKA, MANIKA) [MXC] 100,000 in Mozambique (1972 Barrett); 348,350 in Zimbabwe (1969); 450,000 or more in all countries. Northern half of Manica Province. Also Zimbabwe. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Shona (S.10). Dialects: BOCHA (BOKA), BUNJI, BVUMBA, DOMBA, GUTA, HERE, HUNGWE, JINDWI, KAROMBE, NYAMUKA, NYATWE, TEVE, UNYAMA. Manyika has 74% to 81% lexical similarity with Ndau. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim. NT 1908. Bible portions 1903-1922.

MARENDJE (EMARENDJE, MARENJE) [VMR] 402,861 (1980 census). Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30). May be closest to Chwabo. Survey needed.

MAZARO [MZX] Northwest. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Nyanja (N.30). Unconfirmed. Perhaps only a place name or alternate name. Survey needed.

MWANI (KIMWANI, MWANE, MUANE, QUIMUANE, IBO) [WMW] 100,000 (1990 S.J. Floor); 20,000 second language speakers. Cabo Delgado Province, on the coast north of Pemba; Ibo to Mocomia. Many islands. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Swahili (G.40). Dialects: IBO, PEMBA, QUISSANGA, MOCIMBOA DA PRAIA. People are called 'Mwani', 'Namwani', or 'Namuane'. 60% lexical similarity with Swahili; 48% with Yao. Not intelligible with Swahili. Very isolated. Ibo is the prestige dialect. Mocimboa da Praia dialect is less intelligible with others. 30% to 40% of the people use Portuguese as second language, 30% Swahili, 30% to 40% Makhuwa. Men are more bilingual than women. Traders and schoolchildren can use Portuguese. People use KiMwani in the home, for social purposes, and trading; Swahili for trading in the north; Portugese in school, for government, and trading. 30% to 40% literacy in Arabic script. Dictionary. Traders. Muslim. Work in progress.

NDAU (CHINDAU, NJAO, NDZAWU, SOUTHEAST SHONA, SOFALA) [NDC] 109,000 in Mozambique (1991); 391,000 in Zimbabwe (1991); 500,000 in all countries (1991 UBS). South central region, south of Beira in Sofala and Manica Province. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Shona (S.10). Dialects: CHANGA (CHICHANGA, CHIXANGA, XANGA, SHANGA, MASHANGA, CIMASHANGA, SENJI, CHISENJI), DANDA (VADANDA, WADONDO, WATANDE), GARWE, TONGA (ABATONGA, ATONGA, BATOKA, BATONGA, WATONGA), BALKE (CIBALKE), NDANDA (CINDANDA). Danda, Amakaya, and Chibambava dialects have 84% to 88% lexical similarity; 74% to 81% with Manyika. Closer to Manyika, and much more divergent from Union Shona. Danda and Ndanda may be the same. Other geographical or ethnic names: Dzika, Hijo, Buzi (Buji), Tomboji, Mukwilo. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible 1957. NT 1919-1956. Bible portions 1906-1989. Work in progress.

NGONI (CHINGONI, KINGONI, ANGONI, KISUTU, SUTU) [NGU] 35,000 in Mozambique (1989); 170,000 in Tanzania (1987); 758,000 in Malawi (1993); 963,000 in all countries. Several pockets, in central Cabo Delgado Province, around Macuaida in Niassa Province, in northeast Tete Province, and southwest Maputo Province. Also in Malawi, Tanzania. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Manda (N.10). Speakers formerly spoke Zulu. Distinct from 'Ngoni', an alternate name for Zulu, the Ngoni dialect of Nsenga, the Ngoni dialect of Nyanja, or the Ngoni dialect of Tumbuka. Bible portions 1891-1898.

NSENGA (CHINSENGA, SENGA) [NSE] 141,000 in Mozambique (1993 Johnstone); 427,000 in Zambia (1993); 16,100 in Zimbabwe (1969); 584,000 in all countries. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Sena-Senga (N.40), Senga. Dialect: PIMBI. Distinct from Senga dialect of Tumbuka of Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1923. Bible portions 1919-1943.

NYANJA (CHINYANJA) [NYJ] 423,000 in Mozambique (1993 Johnstone); 3,200,000 in Malawi (1993 Johnstone); 989,000 in Zambia (1993 Johnstone); 251,800 in Zimbabwe (1969 census); 5,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Niassa, Zambezia and Tete provinces. CiChewa is in Macanga district, Tete; CiNgoni is in Sanga and Lago in Niassa, Angonia in Tete; CiNsenga is in Zumbo in Tete; CiNyanja is along Lake Niassa in Niassa and Tete. Also in Tanzania. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Nyanja (N.30). Dialects: CHEWA (CEWA, CHICHEWA, CICEWA), NGONI (CINGONI), NSENGA (CINSENGA), NYANJA (CINYANJA). Dictionary. Grammar. Typology: SVO. Traditional religion, Christian. Braille Bible. Bible 1905-1973. NT 1886-1960. Bible portions 1884-1964.

NYUNGWE (CHINYUNGWI, CINYUNGWE, NYONGWE, TETA, TETE, YUNGWE) [NYU] 262,455 (1980 census). Central, banks of Zambezi River above the Sena. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Senga-Sena (N.40), Sena. Closely related to Sena. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions 1897. Work in progress.

PODZO (CHIPODZO, CIPODZO, PUTHSU, SHIPUTHSU) [POZ] 86,000 (1993 Johnstone). South, border of Zambezia and Sofala provinces, east of Zambezi River, from Marromeu to Chinde. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Senga-Sena (N.40), Sena. Reports indicate Podzo is inherently intelligible with Sena. Closest to Sena and Chwabo. 92% lexical similarity with Sena. Ethnic pride in being Podzo. Bible portions 1911. Survey needed.

PORTUGUESE [POR] 30,000 in Mozambique (1993 Johnstone), 27% speak it as second language (1980 census); 170,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Western. National language. Bible 1751, in press (1993). NT 1681-1982. Bible portions 1505-1951.

RONGA (SHIRONGA, XIRONGA, GIRONGA) [RON] 423,797 in Mozambique (1980 census); 500,000 in all countries (1991 UBS). South of Maputo Province, coastal areas. Also in South Africa. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Tswa-Ronga (S.50). Dialects: KONDE, PUTRU, KALANGA. Partially intelligible with ShiTsonga and ShiTswa. Grammars. Bible 1923. NT 1903-1914. Bible portions 1896-1905. Work in progress.

SAKAJI (ESAKAJI, SANKAJI, SANGAJI, SANGAGE, THEITHEI) [SKN] 18,000 (1993 Johnstone). Coastal, just north of Angoche, on the Sangange Peninsula, at Zubairi, Charamatane, Amisse, Mutembua, Namaeca, Namaponda, and also up to Mogincual and Khibulani. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30). Similarities to Makhuwa and Swahili, but Prata says it is distinct. Survey needed.

SENA (CISENA, CHISENA) [SEH] 1,086,040 (1980 census). Northwest, Sofala, Tete, and Zambezia provinces, lower Zambezi River region. Sena Central is in Tete and northern Sofala. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Senga-Sena (N.40), Sena. Dialects: SENA CENTRAL, SENA-CARE (CARE, SARE, NORTH SENA), SENA BANGWE (BANGWE, SOUTH SENA), RUE (CHIRUE), GOMBE, SANGWE. Sena Central is the prestige dialect. Podzo and Sena-Sare have 92% lexical similarity. Close to Nyungwe, Nyanja, and Kunda. People have limited bilingual comprehension of Ndau in Beira region. Ndau is the church language in Beira; Shona and Nyanja are used in Tâte. They use Ndau to Ndau speakers, Portuguese to other non-Sena. Sena in Malawi requires separate literature. Dictionary. Grammars. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim. NT 1983. Bible portions 1897.

SHONA ("SWINA", CHISHONA) [SHD] 759,923 in Mozambique, possibly including Ndau and Manyika (1980 census); 6,225,000 in Zimbabwe (1989); 15,000 in Zambia; 7,000,000 in all countries (1990 UBS). Also in Malawi. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Shona (S.10). Dialects: KOREKORE (NORTHERN SHONA), ZEZURU (BAZEZURU, BAZUZURA, MAZIZURU, VAZEZURU, WAZEZURU). Intelligible with Manyika. "Swina" is a derogatory name. Bible 1949-1980. NT 1907, in press (1993). Bible portions 1897-1994.

SWAHILI [SWA] 6,104 in Mozambique (1980 census); 5,000,000 total first language speakers (1989 Holm); 30,000,000 total second language speakers (1989 Holm). Northern. Also in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Mayotte, South Africa, UAE, Oman, USA. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, G, Swahili (G.40). Bible 1891-1952. NT 1879-1989. Bible portions 1868-1968.

SWATI (SWAZI, ISISWAZI, SISWATI, TEKELA, TEKEZA) [SWZ] 731 in Mozambique (1980 census); 1,670,000 in all countries. Also in Swaziland and South Africa. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.40). Bible in press (1996). NT 1981-1986. Bible portions 1976-1986.

TONGA (GITONGA, INHAMBANE, SHENGWE, BITONGA, TONGA-INHAMBANE) [TOH] 223,971 (1980 census). South, Inhambane area up to Morrumbane. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Chopi (S.60). Dialects: GITONGA GY KHOGANI, NYAMBE (CINYAMBE), SEWI (GISEWI). 44% lexical similarity with Chopi. Different from ChiTonga of Malawi, ChiTonga of Zambia and Zimbabwe, or Tonga dialect of Ndau. NT 1890, in press (1996). Bible portions 1888-1989. Work in progress.

TSONGA (SHITSONGA, XITSONGA, THONGA, TONGA, GWAMBA) [TSO] 1,500,000 in Mozambique (1989 UBS); 1,646,000 in South Africa (1995 The Economist); 19,000 in Swaziland (1993 Johnstone); 3,165,000 in all countries. South of Maputo, most of Maputo and Gaza provinces. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Tswa-Ronga (S.50). Dialects: BILA (VILA), CHANGANA (CHANGA, XICHANGANA, SHANGAAN, HLANGANU, HANGANU, LANGANU, SHILANGANU, SHANGANA), JONGA (DJONGA, DZONGA), NGWALUNGU (SHINGWALUNGU). 'Tsonga' is used to describe XiChangana, XiTswa, and XiRonga, although it is often used interchangeably with Changana, the most prestigious of the three. All are recognized as languages, although they are inherently intelligible. Dictionaries. Grammars. Christian, traditional religion, Muslim. Braille Bible portions. Bible 1907-1989. NT 1894-1986. Bible portions 1892-1968.

TSWA (SHITSWA, KITSWA, SHEETSWA, XITSWA) [TSC] 695,212 in Mozambique (1980 census). Southern region, most of Inhambane Province. Also in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Tswa-Ronga (S.50). Dialects: HLENGWE (LENGWE, SHILENGWE, LHENGWE, MAKWAKWE-KHAMBANA, KHAMBANA-MAKWAKWE, KHAMBANI), TSWA (DZIBI-DZONGA, DZONGA-DZIBI, DZIVI, XIDZIVI), MANDLA, NDXHONGE, NHAYI. Partially intelligible with Ronga and Tsonga. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible 1910-1955. NT 1903-1928. Bible portions 1891-1908.

YAO (CHIYAO, CIYAO, ACHAWA, ADSAWA, ADSOA, AJAWA, AYAWA, AYO, DJAO, HAIAO, HIAO, HYAO, JAO, VEIAO, WAJAO) [YAO] 194,107 in Mozambique (1980 census); 1,003,000 in Malawi (1993 Johnstone); 400,000 in Tanzania (1993); 1,597,000 in all countries. North central, area south of Lake Nyasa. Also possibly Zimbabwe. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Yao (P.20). Dialects: MAKALE (CIMAKALE), MASSANINGA (CIMASSANINGA). Yao in Tanzania use different orthography. Grammar. Dictionary. Muslim, Christian, traditional religion. Bible 1920. NT 1898-1994. Bible portions 1880-1935.

ZULU (ISIZULU, ZUNDA) [ZUU] 1,798 in Mozambique (1980 census); 8,863,000 in all countries. Also in South Africa, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.40). Bible 1883-1959. NT 1865-1986. Bible portions 1848-1986.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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