A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Cifipa, Fiba, Icifipa, Kifipa

195,000 in Tanzania (2002 census). About 140,000 speakers of Northern, 45,000 of Kwa, and 10,000 of Milanzi varieties.


Rukwa Region, Sumbawanga Urban and Nkansi districts, between lakes Tanganyika and Rukwa.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Kwa (Icikwa), Kwaafi (Icikwaafi), Milanzi (Fipa-Sukuma, Icisukuuma, Sukuma, Sukuuma), Nkwaamba (Icinkwaamba), Northern Fipa (Icikandaasi, Kandaasi, Kandasi), Ntile (Cile, Icintile, Yantili), Peemba (Icipeemba), Siiwa (Icisiiwa), Southern Fipa. Over half ethnic Fipa speak a speech variety called Fipa-Mambwe, which is a dialect of Mambwe-Lungu [mgr]. More research needed for whether Kwa dialect speakers can adequately understand the Northern variety. Lexical similarity: 69% with Rungwa [rnw]; 67% with Pimbwe [piw]; 65% with Nyika, Tanzania [nkt] (Roth 2011).

Language Use

All ages. Used as L2 by Mambwe-Lungu [mgr].

Language Development
Dictionary. NT: 1988.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.