10,700,000 in Zimbabwe (Chebanne and Nthapelelang 2000). 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: 10,741,700. L2 users: 1,800,000 in Zimbabwe (Chebanne 2000).
Widespread. Mashonaland Central province.
3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language.
Hwesa, Karanga (Chikaranga), Korekore (Goba, Gova, Northern Shona, Shangwe), Zezuru (Bazezuru, Bazuzura, Chizezuru, Harava, Hera, Mazizuru, Shawasha, 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 of Shona.
Dominant African language understood by a considerable number. 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]. Used as L2 by Kalanga [kck], Nambya [nmq], Zimbabwe Sign Language [zib].
Traditional religion, Christian.