A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Cifipa, Fiba, Icifipa, Kifipa

195,000 in Tanzania (2002 census). About 140,000 speakers of Northern, 45,000 of Kwa, and 10,000 of Milanzi varieties.


Rukwa region: Sumbawanga urban and Nkansi districts, between Tanganyika and Rukwa lakes.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Kwa (Icikwa), Kwaafi (Icikwaafi), Milanzi (Fipa-Sukuma, Icisukuuma, Sukuma, Sukuuma), Nkwaamba (Icinkwaamba), Northern Fipa (Icikandaasi, Kandaasi, Kandasi), Ntile (Cile, Icintile, Yantili), Peemba (Icipeemba), Siiwa (Icisiiwa), Southern Fipa. Over half ethnic Fipa speak a speech variety called Fipa-Mambwe, which is a dialect of Mambwe-Lungu [mgr]. More research needed for whether Kwa dialect speakers can adequately understand the Northern variety. Lexical similarity: 69% with Rungwa [rnw]; 67% with Pimbwe [piw]; 65% with Nyika, Tanzania [nkt] (Roth 2011).

Language Use

All ages. Used as L2 by Mambwe-Lungu [mgr].

Language Development
Dictionary. NT: 1988.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.