A language of Angola

Alternate Names
Lunyaneka, Nhaneca, Nhaneka, Olunyaneka

300,000 (1996 UBS). All Nyaneka variants together amount to 1,200,000 speakers (Nyaneka Language Association).



Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Cilenge, Cilenge-Musa, Cipungu, Handa, Humbe, Humbi, Mwila (Huila, Muila, Olumuila), Ngambwe (Olungambwe). Nyaneka seems to be a cluster of related but relatively unintelligible varieties. Nkumbi [khu] is probably part of this cluster too. The cluster is sometimes called Nyaneka-Humbi. Neighboring variants like Humbi and Cilenge have difficulty understanding one another. Lexical similarity: Humbi 59% with Handa, 49% with Ngambwe, 56% with Mwila; Handa 45% with Ngambwe, 58% with Mwila; Ngambwe 65% with Mwila.

Language Use

Vitality high, at least in rural Humbi and Cilenge. Positive attitudes among Humbi and Cilenge users. Passive multilingualism widespread in the area. When communicating with speakers of neighboring languages, each tends to use L1 and is understood by the other.

Language Development
2011: Soon will be used in primary education. TV. Bible portions.
Latin script, developed in 2008.
Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.