Kalanga

Print

A language of Zimbabwe

Alternate Names
Bakaa, Chikalanga, Ikalanga, Kalana, Kanana, Makalaka, Sekalaña, Tjikalanga, Wakalanga, Western Shona
Population

700,000 in Zimbabwe (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000). Population total all countries: 850,000.

Location

Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North provinces; southwest of Bulawayo and Botswana border area.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).

Dialects

Jawunda, Lemba (Remba), Lembethu (Rembethu), Lilima (Humbe, Limima), Nyai (Abanyai, Banyai, Rozvi, Wanyai), Peri, Pfumbi, Romwe, Talahundra, Twamamba (Xwamamba). Talahundra has no remaining speakers. Peri are an ethnic group of Birwa and Tswapong assimilated into Kalanga and speak the Lilima dialect. Humbe are ethnically different from the Lilima but now share the same language. Reportedly similar to Karanga, Zezuru, and Shangwe dialects of Shona [sna].

Language Use

Rapidly being absorbed by Ndebele [nde], though most rural members speak Kalanga. Also use Ndebele [nde], Shona [sna].

Language Development
Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1999.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Most Kalanga are in Zimbabwe; most Lilima are in Botswana.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All