Malawi

Print
Afrikaans
[afr] Status: 4 (Educational). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Franconian Comments: Spoken by people of Dutch descent from South Africa.

More Information

Chichewa
[nya] West central and southwest. Also in Botswana, Mozambique (Nyanja), Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe. 7,000,000 in Malawi (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Population total all countries: 8,659,700. Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto national language. Alternate Names: Chewa, Chinyanja, Nyanja Dialects: Chewa (Cheva, Chichewa, Sheva), Manganja (Cimanganja, Waganga), Ngoni, Nyasa, Peta (Cipeta, Malawi, Marave, Maravi). Manganja is also a Chewa-influenced dialect of Sena [swk]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Nyanja (N.31) Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

More Information

English
[eng] 16,000 in Malawi (1993). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national working language (1994, Constitution 51(1), 56(6), 94(2)). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English

More Information

Kachchi
[kfr] Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Cuchi, Cutch, Kacchi, Kachi, Katchi Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northwestern zone, Sindhi Comments: Muslim.

More Information

Kokola
[kzn] Southeast border, south of Mlanje and Cholo, north of Chiromo. Also in Mozambique. 200,000 in Malawi (2000). Population total all countries: 280,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Kokhola Dialects: May be a subvariety of Lolo, which is itself a subvariety of Lomwe [lon]. May be intelligible of Lomwe. Similar to Marendje [vmr] and Takwane [tke]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makua (P.30)

More Information

Lambya
[lai] Northwest tip, Tanzania and Zambia border. Also in Tanzania, Zambia. 60,000 in Malawi (2012 WFW). Population total all countries: 102,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Ichilambya, Kilambya, Lambia, Lambwa, Rambia Dialects: Ndali [ndh] may be intelligible with Lambya. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyika-Safwa (M.201) Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

More Information

Lomwe, Malawi
[lon] Southeast, Southern Region, south of Lake Kilwa, south of the Yao [yao] and northeast of the Sena [swk] language areas, east of Blantyre. 850,000 (2012). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Anguru, Elhomwe, Nguru Dialects: Mihavane, Muhavani. Not intelligible with Lomwe [ngl] of Mozambique. Different from Ngulu [ngp] (Kingulu) of Tanzania. Similar to Takwane [tke]. Classification: Mixed language, Makhua-Nyanja Comments: Nguru is derogatory if used by an outsider; a signal of close identity if used by an insider. Elhomwe is the official name. Traditional religion, Christian.

More Information

Ndali
[ndh] North, Sukwa Hills. 70,000 in Malawi (2003 SIL). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Dialects: Sukwa. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyika-Safwa (M.301) Comments: Came from Tanzania, and may be intelligible with Lambya [lai].

More Information

Nyakyusa-Ngonde
[nyy] North tip, south of the Lambya, west of Lake Malawi. 300,000 in Malawi (Johnstone 1993). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Ikingonde, Ikinyikyusa, Kinyakyusa, Konde, Kukwe, Mombe, Ngonde, Nkhonde, Nkonde, Nyakusa, Nyekyosa, Sochile, Sokile Dialects: Nkonde, Nyakyusa, Sukwa. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyakyusa (M.31)

More Information

Nyiha, Malawi
[nyr] Northern Region, Chitipa district, villages around Kameme town. 10,000 (2007). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Kinyiha, Shinyiha Dialects: Similar to but not the same at Nyiha [nyf] (Giryama) of Kenya and Nyiha [nih] of Tanzania. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyika-Safwa (M.23)

More Information

Nyika
[nkv] Northern Region, Chitipa district, Chisenga area villages. Also in Zambia. 5,000 in Malawi (2007). Population total all countries: 10,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Chinyika, Kinyika Dialects: Similar to Malawi Nyiha [nyr]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyika-Safwa (M.23)

More Information

Sena, Malawi
[swk] South tip bordering Mozambique. 270,000 (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Chisena, Cisena Dialects: Chimanganja. Linguistically related to Kunda [kdn] but not intelligible. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Senga-Sena (N.40)

More Information

Tonga
[tog] Northern Region, north of Bandawe, west shore of Lake Malawi. 170,000 (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Chitonga, Kitonga, Siska, Sisya, Western Nyasa Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Manda (N.15) Comments: Different from Tonga [toi] of Zimbabwe and Zambia and Tonga [toh] of Mozambique.

More Information

Tumbuka
[tum] Northern Region, west shore of Lake Malawi, south of the Nyakyusa-Ngonde [nyy] and north of the Tonga [tog] and Nyanja [nya] language areas. Also in Zambia. 2,200,000 in Malawi (2010 census). Population total all countries: 2,680,000. Status: 4 (Educational). Alternate Names: Chitumbuka, Tamboka, Tambuka, Timbuka, Tombucas, Tumboka Dialects: Chikamanga (Henga, Kamanga), Chitumbuka, Fungwe, Hewe (Hewa), Nenya, Nthali, Poka (Chipoka, Phoka), Senga, Wenya, Yombe. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Tumbuka (N.21) Comments: Kandawire and Fulirwa are clans, not dialects. Christian, traditional religion.

More Information

Yao
[yao] Southern Region, southeast tip of Lake Malawi area, bordering Mozambique. Also in Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia. 2,200,000 in Malawi. Population total all countries: 3,116,000. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Achawa, Adsawa, Adsoa, Ajawa, Ayao, Ayawa, Ayo, Chiyao, Djao, Haiao, Hiao, Hyao, Jao, Veiao, Wajao Dialects: Mangoche. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Yao (P.21) Comments: Yao in Tanzania use a different orthography from Malawi; Mozambique Yao also has some differences. Muslim, Christian.

More Information

Zulu
[zul] 37,500 in Malawi (1966 census). Status: 4 (Educational). Alternate Names: Isizulu, Kingoni, Ngoni, Zunda Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.406) Comments: Ngoni is a dialect of Zulu or Swazi [ssw] spoken in Malawi. Ngoni also an alternate name for Chichewa [nya] and possibly for Matengo [mgv].

More Information