A language of Angola

Alternate Names
Lunyaneka, Nhaneca, Nhaneka, Olunyaneka

300,000 (1996 UBS). All Nyaneka variants together amount to 1,200,000 speakers (2012 Nyaneka Language Association).


Southwest, east of Atlantic coast, mainly Huíla and Namibe provinces; also Cunene and Benguela provinces.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Cilenge, Handa, Humbe, Mwila (Huila, Muila, Olumuila), Ngambwe (Olungambwe), Nyaneka. Nyaneka seems to be a cluster of related but distinct varieties. Nkumbi [khu] is probably part of this cluster too, more closely related to the Handa and Humbe dialects. The cluster is sometimes called Nyaneka-Humbi. Speakers of Humbe and Cilenge have difficulty understanding one another. Lexical similarity: Mwila 79% with Nyaneka, 74% with Ngambwe, 65% with Handa; Nyaneka 80% with Ngambwe, 76% with Handa; Ngambwe 68% with Handa. Humbe 74% with Cilenge.

Language Use

High vitality across the whole language area (2013 SIL). All ages. Positive attitudes. Used as L2 by Kung-Ekoka [knw].

Language Development
2011: Soon will be used in primary education. TV. NT: 2005.

Latin script [Latn], developed in 2008.

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.