Angola

Print
Bolo
[blv] Southeast of Luanda, Cuanza Sul province: Libolo municipality. 2,630 (2000). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Libolo, Lubolo. Dialects: None known. Related to Kimbundu [kmb], Songo [nsx], and Sama [smd]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Kimbundu (H.23). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

More Information

Cokwe
[cjk] Widespread: Northeast Lunda district; east Bié, west Moxico, and central Cuando Cubango, Cunene, Malanje, Lunda Sul, Lunda Norte. 456,000 in Angola (1991). Total users in all countries: 977,700. Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto language of national identity. Alternate Names: Chokwe, Ciokwe, Djok, Kioko, Quioco, Shioko, Tschiokloe, Tshokwe. Dialects: Minungo, Ulanda, Ukhongo. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.11). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

More Information

Dhimba
[dhm] Southwest corner, Atlantic coast, Namibe province, into coastal Benguela province as far as Equimina; east into Cunene and Huíla provinces near Namibia border. 18,000 in Angola (2011). Total users in all countries: 30,000. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Chimba, Dimba, Oludhimba, Oluthimba, Otjidhimba, Simba, Tjimba, Zemba. Dialects: Hakawona, Tchavikwa. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Herero (R.311). Comments: Dhimba is part of the southern Helelo (Herero) cluster.

More Information

Diriku
[diu] Cuando Cubango province, southeast border with Namibia. 24,000 in Angola. Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Dciriku, Diriko, Gciriku, Manyo, Mbogedo, Rugciriku, Rumanyo, Shimbogedu. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.332).

More Information

Holu
[hol] Kwango river area; northwest Lunda Norte and northeast Malanje provinces. 23,100 in Angola (2000). Total users in all countries: 28,200. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Holo, Hongu, Kiholo, Kiholu. Dialects: Holu, Yeci. Reportedly similar to Samba [smx]. Yeci may be a separate language. Reportedly related to Kimbundu [kmb]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, L, Pende (L.12). Comments: Different from Holoholo [hoo] of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

More Information

Khwe
[xuu] Southeast corner, Cuando Cubango province: Huthembo (Wuthembo), northeast of Likuwa; Lukamba (Lukanga) west of Rivungu. 200 in Angola (Brenzinger 2013). Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: !Hukwe, Black Bushman, Cazama, Glanda-Khwe, Hukwe, Kxoe, Kxoedam, “Mbarakwena” (pej.), “Mbarakwengo” (pej.), Schekere, Vazama, Water Bushmen, Xu, Xuhwe, Xun, Zama. Dialects: Buma-Kxoe. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Northwest. Comments: Traditional religion.

More Information

Kikongo
[kng] North, along Congo river below Kinshasa, Uíge and Zaire provinces; northern Bengo and Malanje provinces; southern Cabinda province; small border areas, Cuanza Norte province. Dialects: Kiyombe in Cabinda; Kisikongo and San Salvador in Angola proper. 2,000,000 in Angola (2012 World Factbook). Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto language of national identity. Alternate Names: Congo, Kikoongo, Kongo, Koongo. Dialects: South Kongo, South East Kongo (Nkanu, Pende, Zoombo), West Kongo (Fiote, Fioti), Ndingi (Ndinzi), Mboka, Kisikongo, Kizombo, Kindibu, Kimanyanga, Kiwoyo (Cabinda, San Salvador Kongo). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Kikongo (H.16). Comments: Kisikongo is the principal dialect. Kiyombe is the main dialect of eastern Cabinda. Together with Kiwoyo, Kiyombe is referred to as Ibinda (the language of Cabinda). Christian.

More Information

Kilari
[ldi] Zaire province, northwest corner; possibly scattered communities. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Laadi, Laari, Ladi, Lari. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Kikongo (H.16). Comments: Non-indigenous. Part of Kongo subgroup. Christian, Muslim.

More Information

Kimbundu
[kmb] Widespread northwest, mainly Cuanza Norte, Bengo and Malanje provinces; adjacent areas in Cuanza Sul, Uíge, and Luanda provinces. 1,700,000 (2015 L. Jordan). Ethnic population: 6,000,000 (2015 L. Jordan). Status: 3 (Wider communication). Alternate Names: Dongo, Kimbundo, Kindongo, Loanda Mbundu, Loande, Luanda, Lunda, Mbundu, N’bundo, Nbundu, Ndongo, North Mbundu. Dialects: Njinga (Ginga, Jinga), Mbamba (Bambeiro, Kimbamba), Mbaka (Ambaquista), Ngola. Mbamba dialect may be a separate language. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Kimbundu (H.21).

More Information

Kung-Ekoka
[knw] Reportedly in Huíla, Cunene, and Cuando Cubango provinces. 5,500 in Angola (2016 L. Jordan). Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: !Hu, !Ku, !Kung, !Xu, !Xun, !Xung, Ekoko-!Xû, Qxû. Classification: Kx’a, !Kung. Comments: Non-indigenous. Traditional religion, Christian.

More Information

Kuvale
[olu] Benguela and Namibe provinces: from Atlantic coast to the Huila province border to the east, from Dombe Grande in the north to Tombua in the south. 70,000 (2015 L. Jordan). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Mucubal, Olukuvale. Dialects: None known. Most similar to Herero [her]. Lexical similarity: 52%–54% with Nyaneka [nyk] (2015 L. Jordan). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Umbundu (R.101).

More Information

Kwadi
[kwz] Namibe province, southwest corner: south of Namibe town, Coroca river area. No known L1 speakers. Status: 10 (Extinct). Alternate Names: Bakoroka, Cuanhoca, Cuepe, Curoca, Koroka, Makoroko, Mucoroca. Dialects: Zorotua (Vasorontu). Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Kwadi.

More Information

Kwangali
[kwn] South central, Cuando Cubango, Kwangar municipality. 10,900 in Angola (2000). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Cuangar, Kwangare, Kwangari, Rukwangali, Rukwangari, Sikwangali. Dialects: Sambyu (Sambio, Sambiu, Shisambyu). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.33). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

More Information

Lucazi
[lch] Southeast, adjacent areas, southwest Moxico province: Lucazi municipality; Cuando Cubango province: from Mavinga to Kuito Kuanavale. 400,000 in Angola (2011 S. Floor). Total users in all countries: 430,600. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Chiluchazi, Luchazi, Lujash, Lujazi, Lutchaz, Lutshase, Luxage, Ponda. Dialects: None known. Part of Ngangela subgroup. Readily intelligible with all variants of the Ngangela macrolanguage. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.13). Comments: Lucazi is a prestige form of the Ngangela language cluster. Christian, traditional religion.

More Information

Luimbi
[lum] Central Angola, Cuanza river watershed, northern Bié and southern Malanje provinces. 43,900 (2000). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Chiluimbi, Luimbe, Lwimbe, Lwimbi. Dialects: None known. Related to Nkangala [nkn] and Mbwela [mfu]; in Ngangela subgroup. Similar to Songo [nsx], less similar to Lucazi [lch] and Ngonzela of Ngangela cluster. Doubtful if intelligible with Mbwela [mfu], as they are not contact languages. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.12).

More Information

Lunda
[lun] Northeast, Lunda Norte province: Caungula municipality; Moxico and Lunda Sul provinces, contiguous border area with Democratic Republic of Cong (DRC) and Zambia. 178,000 in Angola (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Chilunda, Ruund. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, L, Lunda (L.52).

More Information

Luvale
[lue] Moxico, southeast provinces. 464,000 in Angola (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Chiluvale, Lovale, Lubale, Luena, Lwena. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.14). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

More Information

Mashi
[mho] Moxico and Cuando Cubango provinces: west bank, Cuando river. 2,630 in Angola (2000). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Kamaxi, Masi. Dialects: North Kwandu, South Kwandu, Mashi. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.34). Comments: Nomadic. Different from Mashi [shr] which is related to Havu [hav] of Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mashi dialect sometimes called Ndonga, which is not Oshiwambo Ndonga [kua]. Traditional religion.

More Information

Mbangala
[mxg] Northeast Malanje province; separate area south central, Canhica area; western Lunda Norte province; very small areas in eastern Uíge and northwestern Lunda Sul provinces; community in Luanda; Kela e Kambundi Katembu, Kahombo. 400,000 (2012). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Bangala, Cimbangala. Dialects: Mbangala, Yongo. Reportedly similar to Kimbundu [kmb], but so distinct that different literature is needed. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Yaka (H.34).

More Information

Mbukushu
[mhw] Southeast corner: Okavango river, north bank, Cuando Cubango province. 4,000 in Angola (Andersson and Janson 1997). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Cusso, Gova, Kuso, Mambukush, Mampukush, Mbukuhu, Mbukushi, Thimbukushu. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.333). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

More Information

Mbunda
[mck] Southeast: Moxico province. 135,000 in Angola (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Total users in all countries: 218,000. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Chimbunda, Mbuunda. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.15). Comments: Different from Mbuun which is a dialect of Mpuono [zmp] in Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia and is in Tende-Yanzi group.

More Information

Mbwela
[mfu] Large central, southern area, mainly Cuando Cubango province; also in Bié, Moxico, Cunene, and Huíla provinces. 222,000 (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Ambuela, Ambuella, Mbuela, Mbwera, Shimbwera. Dialects: None known. Part of Ngangela subgroup. Intelligible with Lucazi [lch], Ngonzela, and Nyemba [nba], and will be able to use the new Lucazi Bible. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.17). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

More Information

Ndombe
[ndq] Benguela province: south and southeast of Benguela, Ndombe area. 22,300 (2000). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Dombe. Dialects: Not a Uvimbundu [umb] dialect; survey needed. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Umbundu (R.12).

More Information

Ngandyera
[nne] Southeast corner: Cuando Cubango province. 13,100 (2000). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Ngandjera. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Wambo (R.24).

More Information

Nkangala
[nkn] Central: Cuando, Kubango and Moxico provinces; southwest of Lucazi [lch], north of Mbwela [mfu] language areas. 22,300 (2000). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Cangala, Ngangala. Dialects: None known. Member of Ngangela cluster. Intelligible with Nyemba [nba], Mbwela [mfu], Ngonzela, and Lucazi [lch]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.18).

More Information

Nkumbi
[khu] Southwest, west bank, Cunene river, Cunene and Huíla provinces; between Dhimba [dhm], Oshiwambo [kua], Nyemba [nba], and Nyaneka [nyk] language areas. 150,000 (1996 UBS). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Khumbi, Ngumbi, Nkhumbi, Ocinkumbi, Otjingumbi. Dialects: Nkumbi-mulondo. Part of Nyaneka [nyk] cluster, but low intelligibility with the central variants of Nyaneka. Bordering on and reportedly similar to the Nyaneka-Gambwe variant. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Umbundu (R.14).

More Information

Northwestern !Kung
[vaj] South border with Namibia, Cuando Cubango province: 3 enclaves, one between Mbwela [mfu] and Kwangali [kwn] language areas, another northeast on Cuando river; Cunene province border area, surrounded by Oshiwambu[kua] language area, at least 8 communities; Huambo province. 5,630 in Angola (2000). Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: !O!kung, !O!ung, !Xun, Maligo, Northwestern !Xun, Sekela, Vasekela Bushman, Vasekele. Classification: Kx’a, !Kung. Comments: Non-indigenous. Traditional religion.

More Information

Nyaneka
[nyk] Southwest, east of Atlantic coast, mainly Huíla and Namibe provinces; also Cunene and Benguela provinces. 300,000 (1996 UBS). All Nyaneka variants together amount to 1,200,000 speakers (2012 Nyaneka Language Association). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Lunyaneka, Nhaneca, Nhaneka, Olunyaneka. Dialects: Humbe, Mwila (Huila, Muila, Olumuila), Ngambwe (Olungambwe), Handa, Cilenge, Nyaneka. Nyaneka seems to be a cluster of related but distinct varieties. Nkumbi [khu] is probably part of this cluster too, more closely related to the Handa and Humbe dialects. The cluster is sometimes called Nyaneka-Humbi. Speakers of Humbe and Cilenge have difficulty understanding one another. Lexical similarity: Mwila 79% with Nyaneka, 74% with Ngambwe, 65% with Handa; Nyaneka 80% with Ngambwe, 76% with Handa; Ngambwe 68% with Handa. Humbe 74% with Cilenge. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Umbundu (R.13). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

More Information

Nyemba
[nba] South central, Cuchi river area, southeast, east Huíla, north Cunene, northwest Cuando Cubango provinces; some in Bié and Huambo. 222,000 in Angola (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Total users in all countries: 231,540. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Gangela, Ganguela, Ganguella, Ngangela, Nhemba. Dialects: None known. Part of Ngangela subgroup. Fully intelligible with Lucazi [lch], Nkangala [nkn], Mbwela [mfu], and Ngonzela. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.12).

More Information

Nyengo
[nye] Southeast corner: Cuando Cubango province. 9,380 (2000). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Nhengo. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.16).

More Information

Oshiwambo
[kua] South central, Namibian border: Cunene and Cuando Cubango provinces. 421,000 in Angola (Johnstone 1993). L2 users: 40,000 in Angola (2013 SIL). Total users in all countries: 1,046,000 (as L1: 1,006,000; as L2: 40,000). Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto language of national identity. Its use as an LWC has its origin in its status as the language of the powerful Kwanyama kingdom, influential in what is now southern Angola and northern Namibia throughout the colonial period up to the year 1917. Used in the eastern half of Kunene Province in church, market, business, and media domains. Alternate Names: Cuanhama, Humba, Kuanjama, Kwancama, Kwanjama, Kwanyama, Ochikwanyama, Oshikuanjama, Oshikwanyama, Ovambo, Oxikuanyama, Wambo. Dialects: Kwanyama, Mbadja. Intelligible with Ndonga [ndo] and Kwambi [kwm]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Wambo (R.21).

More Information

Portuguese
[por] 87,000 in Angola. Includes 30,000 Brazilian L1 users. In cities, Portuguese increasingly L1 of younger generation. 60% of Angolans use Portuguese, 40% as L1. High level of urbanization due to civil war led to increased use. Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (2010, Constitution, Article 19(1)). Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Portuguese-Galician. Comments: Non-indigenous.

More Information

Ruund
[rnd] Northeast, north central Lunda Norte province: Luchibe river area. 98,500 in Angola (2000). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Chilu Wunda, Luunda, Muatiamvua, Northern Lunda, Ruwund, Uruund. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, L, Lunda (L.53). Comments: Non-indigenous.

More Information

Sama
[smd] Coastal, southern third of Bengo province: south of Luanda, Bengo Kisama; northwest Cuanza Sul province. 24,200 (2000). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Kissama, Quissama. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Kimbundu (H.22).

More Information

Songo
[nsx] North central, southeast of Luanda, Malanje, Cuanza Sul, Bié, and Lunda Norte provinces. 50,000 (1978 UBS). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Nsongo, Sungu. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Kimbundu (H.24).

More Information

Umbundu
[umb] West central, mostly Huambo, Cuanza Sul, and Benguela provinces; also Bié, Huíla, Namibe, and Bengo provinces. 6,000,000 (2012 World Factbook). Status: 3 (Wider communication). Alternate Names: Kimbari, Mbali, Mbari, M’bundo, Mbundu, Mbundu Benguella, Nano, Olumbali, Ovimbundu, South Mbundu, Umbundo. Dialects: Mbalundu. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Umbundu (R.11). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

More Information

Yaka
[yaf] North central corner, east of the Kwango river; Uíge province: Kimbele municipality; Malanje province northeast corner. 200,000 in Angola (2000 SIL). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Iaca, Iaka, Iyaka, Kiyaka. Dialects: Yaka, Ngoongo. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Yaka (H.31).

More Information

Yauma
[yax] Southeast, isolated enclave in Lucazi [lch] language area, Moxico province; Cuando Cubango Province, Cuando river area. 17,100 in Angola (2000). Total users in all countries: 22,200. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Dialects: None known. Part of the Ngangela Subgroup. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Ciokwe-Luchazi (K.16).

More Information

Yombe
[yom] Cabinda. 39,400 in Angola (2000). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Bayombe, Ibinda, Iombe, Kiombi, Kiyombe. Dialects: Mbala (Mumbala), Vungunya (Kivungunya, Yombe Classique). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Kikongo (H.16). Comments: The dialect of Yombe spoken in the northern half of Cabinda is quite different from the Congolese dialect used in the Yombe NT translation, due to influence from the speech varieties of southern Cabinda. Christian, traditional religion.

More Information