A language of South Africa

Alternate Names
Isizulu, Zunda

11,600,000 in South Africa (2013 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 15,700,000 in South Africa (Webb 2002). Total users in all countries: 27,669,100 (as L1: 11,969,100; as L2: 15,700,000).


KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga (Gert Sibande muni) provinces; northeast Free State and southeast Gauteng provinces; Eastern Cape province: Harding area.

Language Status

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


Lala, Qwabe, Cele, Transvaal Zulu. Reportedly similar to Swazi [ssw] and Xhosa [xho].


SVO; noun head initial; 13 noun classes; no articles; verb affixes mark person, number, object; passives; aspect; causatives; 30 consonant and 10 vowel phonemes; stress on penultimate syllable; non-tonal.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 70%. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Newspapers. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1883–1959.

Braille script [Brai]. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All
Page Views Left: