10,700,000 in Zimbabwe. 4,500,000 Karanga (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000), 1,700,000 Korekore (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000), 3,200,000 Zezuru (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000), 1,300,000 Shona. Population total all countries: 10,759,200.
Mashonaland, central, and widespread. Also in Botswana (Zezuru), Malawi, South Africa, Zambia.
3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language.
Karanga (Chikaranga), Korekore (Goba, Gova, Northern Shona, Shangwe), Zezuru (Bazezuru, Bazuzura, Chizezuru, Mazizuru, Vazezuru, Wazezuru). Subdialects: Karanga: Duma, Jena, Mhari (Mari), Ngova, Nyubi, Govera; Korekore: Budya, Gova, Tande, Tavara, Nyongwe, Pfunde, Shan Gwe; Zezuru: Shawasha, Gova, Mbire, Tsunga, Kachikwakwa, Harava, Nohwe, Njanja, Nobvu, Kwazwimba (Zimba); Shona: Toko, Hwesa. Rozvi (Rozwi, Ruzwi, Chirozwi) speak Karanga dialect. Ndau [ndc] and Manyika [mxc] are partially intelligible with Shona.
Dominant African language understood by a considerable number. 1,800,000 speak Shona as L2 in all countries (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000). Primarily a written language apparently based on Karanga and Zezuru with lexical items also from Manyika and Korekore. Urban populations tend to speak school or standard Shona. Also use English [eng].
Traditional religion, Christian.