Tongwe

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A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Kitongwe, Sitongwe
Population

13,000 (2001). Ethnic population: 31,600 (2000).

Location

Kigoma Region, Kigoma district; Kigoma and Rukwa regions east; Lake Tanganyika west shore; small groups (20%–30% of the population) in Uvinza and Nguruka villages.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Tongwe and Bende [bdp] are probably dialects of 1 language. Lexical similarity: 83%–91% with Bende [bdp] (with different varieties).

Language Use

In the mountains, vigorous use by all ages; in Kalya and Kashagulu, some Swahili [swh]; in other areas, speakers are over 40. Use Tongwe when speaking with Bende [bdp]. Home. Mainly older adults. Positive attitudes. Also use Swahili [swh].

Language Development
Dictionary.
Writing

Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

Traditional religion.