A language of Angola

Alternate Names
Lunyaneka, Nhaneca, Nhaneka

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


Mainly Huíla and Namibe provinces; also Benguela and Cunene provinces.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Humbe, Mwila (Huila, Muila, Olumuila), Ngambwe (Olungambwe), Handa, Cilenge, 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). Used by all. Positive attitudes. Used as L2 by Kung-Ekoka [knw], Kwandu [xdo].

Language Development

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


Latin script [Latn], developed in 2008.

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.

Page Views Left: