Malawi

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Afrikaans
[afr] Scattered. Status: 5 (Dispersed). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Franconian. Comments: Non-indigenous. Spoken by people of Dutch descent from South Africa.

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Chichewa
[nya] West central and southwest. 6,500,000 (2009 UNSD). 4,250,000 Chewa, 1,490,000 Ngoni, 754,000 Nyanja (2009 UNSD). Total users in all countries: 9,690,520. Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto language of national identity. Alternate Names: Chewa, Chinyanja, Nyanja, Nyanja-Chewa. Autonym: Chicheŵa. Dialects: Chewa (Cheva, Chichewa, Sheva), Ngoni, Manganja (Cimanganja, Waganga), Nyasa, Peta (Cipeta, Malawi, Marave, Maravi). Manganja is also a Chewa-influenced dialect of Sena [swk]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Chewa-Nyanja (N.31). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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English
[eng] 540,000 in Malawi (Crystal 2003a), L2 users. Status: 1 (National). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Kacchi
[kfr] Blantyre, Lilongwe, Nkhata Bay, and Zomba districts; Mzuzu and urban centers. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Cuchi, Cutch, Kachchi, Kachi, Katchi. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Northwestern , Sindhi. Comments: Non-indigenous. Muslim.

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Kokola
[kzn] Mulanje district; Thyolo district: Sandama area. 200,000 (2000). Total users in all countries: 280,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Kokhola. Dialects: None known. May be a subvariety of Lolo, which is itself a subvariety of Lomwe [lon]. May be intelligible of Lomwe. Reportedly similar to Marendje [vmr] and Takwane [tke]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makhuwa (P.31).

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Lambya
[lai] Chitipa and Karonga districts: along Tanzania and Zambia borders. 59,500 (2009 UNSD). Total users in all countries: 91,900. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Ichilambya, Kilambya, Lambia, Lambwa, Rambia. Dialects: Central Lambya. Ndali [ndh] may be intelligible with Lambya. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyiha-Safwa (M.201). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Lomwe, Malawi
[lon] Blantyre, Machinga, Mulanje, Phalombe, Thyolo, and Zomba districts. 2,290,000 (2009 UNSD). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Anguru, Elhomwe, Nguru. Dialects: Mihavane, Muhavani. Not intelligible of Lomwe [ngl] of Mozambique. Different from Ngulu [ngp] (Kingulu) of Tanzania. Reportedly similar to Takwane [tke]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Makhuwa (P.331). Comments: Nguru is derogatory if used by an outsider; a signal of close identity if used by an insider. Elhomwe is the official name. Traditional religion, Christian.

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Malawian Sign Language
[lws] Scattered. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Malawi Sign. Dialects: None known. Noted influence from American Sign Language, especially visible in alphabet system (2016 M. Sorola). Classification: Sign language. Comments: Artificially constructed from preliminary exposure to American Sign Language [ase], British Sign Language [bfi], and contact with local African countries (2016 M. Sorola).

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Ndali
[ndh] Chitipa district: Sukwa Hills. 70,000 (2003 SIL). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Dialects: Sukwa. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyakyusa-Ngonde (M.301). Comments: Came from Tanzania, and may be intelligible with Lambya [lai].

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Nyakyusa-Ngonde
[nyy] Chitipa district: northeast; Karonga district: west of Lake Malawi. 149,000 (2009 UNSD). 18,800 Nyakyusa, 130,000 Nkonde (2009 UNSD). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Ikingonde, Ikinyikyusa, Kinyakyusa, Konde, Kukwe, Mombe, Ngonde, Nkhonde, Nkonde, Nyakusa, Nyekyosa, Sochile, Sokile. Dialects: Nyakyusa, Nkonde, Sukwa. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyakyusa-Ngonde (M.31).

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Nyiha, Malawi
[nyr] Chitipa district: Kameme town area villages. 10,000 (2007). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Kinyiha, Shinyiha. Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to but not the same at Nyiha [nyf] (Giryama) of Kenya and Nyiha [nih] of Tanzania. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyiha-Safwa (M.23).

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Nyika
[nkv] Chitipa district: Chisenga area villages; Karonga district: west. 5,000 (2007). Total users in all countries: 10,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Chinyika, Kinyika. Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to Malawi Nyiha [nyr]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, M, Nyiha-Safwa (M.23).

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Sena, Malawi
[swk] Chikwawa district: south; Nsanje district; along Mozambique border. 468,000 (2009 UNSD). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Chisena, Cisena. Dialects: Chimanganja. Linguistically related to Kunda [kdn] but not intelligible. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Senga-Sena (N.441).

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Tonga
[tog] Nkhata Bay district: Lake Malawi west shore; Nkhotakota, Mzimba, and Rumphi districts. 271,000 (2009 UNSD). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Kitonga, Siska, Sisya, Western Nyasa. Autonym: Chitonga. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Manda (N.15). Comments: Different from Tonga [toi] of Zimbabwe and Zambia and Tonga [toh] of Mozambique.

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Tumbuka
[tum] Chitipa and Karonga districts: Lake Malawi west shore; Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Rumphi, and Mzimba districts. 1,180,000 (2009 UNSD). 24,400 Senga, 1,150,000 Tumbuka (2009 UNSD). Total users in all countries: 1,546,000. Status: 4 (Educational). Alternate Names: Citumbuka, Tamboka, Tambuka, Timbuka, Tombucas, Tumboka. Autonym: Chitumbuka. Dialects: Chitumbuka, Chikamanga (Henga, Kamanga), Nenya, Poka (Chipoka, Phoka), Yombe, Senga, Nthali, Fungwe, Wenya, Hewe (Hewa). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, N, Tumbuka (N.21). Comments: Kandawire and Fulirwa are clans, not dialects. Christian, traditional religion.

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Yao
[yao] Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, and Zomba districts: bordering Mozambique, between southeast tip of Lake Kilwa and Lake Malawi; Chiradzulu district: small area. 1,760,000 (2009 UNSD). Total users in all countries: 2,585,000. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Achawa, Adsawa, Adsoa, Ajawa, Ayao, Ayawa, Ayo, Chiyao, Chiyawo, Ciyaawo, Ciyao, Djao, Haiao, Hiao, Hyao, Jao, Veiao, Wajao, Yawo, chiYao, ciYao, waYao. Autonym: Ciyawo. Dialects: Mangoche. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, P, Yao (P.21). Comments: Yao in Tanzania use a different orthography from Malawi; Mozambique Yao also has some differences. Muslim.

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Zulu
[zul] Dedza, Karonga, Mzimba, and Ntcheu districts. 37,500 (1966 census). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Isizulu, Kingoni, Ngoni, Zunda. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.42). Comments: Non-indigenous. Ngoni is a dialect of Zulu or Swazi [ssw] spoken in Malawi. Ngoni also an alternate name for Chichewa [nya] and possibly for Matengo [mgv].

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