Tsonga

Print

A language of South Africa

Alternate Names
Shangaan, Shangana, Shitsonga, Thonga, Tonga
Population

1,940,000 in South Africa (2006), increasing. Population total all countries: 3,669,000.

Location

Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Also in Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)).

Dialects

Changana, Gwamba (Gwapa), Hlave, Jonga (Dzonga), Kande, Luleke (Xiluleke), Nhlanganu (Shihlanganu), Nkuma, N’walungu (Shingwalungu), Songa, Xonga. ‘Tsonga’ is used to describe Changana [tso], Tswa [tsc], and Ronga [rng], although often used interchangeably with Changana, the most prestigious of the 3. All are recognized as languages, although inherently intelligible.

Language Development
A language of secondary education. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1907–1989.
Writing
Braille script. Latin script, primary usage.
Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All