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Addition of Himba as a dialect of Herero

Linda Jordan, Fri, 2015-11-06 14:34
ISO 639-3: 

"Northwestern Herero, including Himba" should be added to the list of dialects of Herero. The Ovahimba and other Ovaherero people of northwestern Namibia speak a more conservative dialect of Otjiherero that did not undergo much change in contact with other languages. The Ovahimba and central Ovaherero can understand each other, but there are some dialect differences in word choice as well as intonation and pacing. When central Ovaherero hear Ovahimba speaking among themselves, it can be difficult for them to understand. When speaking with each other, however, they can negotiate meaning, and the Ovahimba adjust their speech to make it more comprehensible to the central Ovaherero. The difference between the dialect of the Ovahimba and the other northwestern Ovaherero is marked by different pronunciation of only a very few vocabulary items. Sources: Jordan, Linda. 2012. Can the Bible speak in today’s Otjiherero? Examining the issues of retranslation, revision and oral translation. Unpublished material. Maho, Jouni. 1998. Few people, many tongues: The languages of Namibia. Windhoek: Gamsberg MacMillan. Murangi, Godwin (personal communication)

Editorial Action

We will add Himba as a dialect name for Herero [her] in Namibia in the 19th edition database of the Ethnologue.