|Native to||Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi|
|Native speakers||6.6 million (2006)|
vmw – Central Makhuwa
mgh – Makhuwa-Meetto
vmk – Makhuwa-Shirima
kzn – Kokola
llb – Lolo
mny – Manyawa
vmr – Marenje
tke – Takwane
xmc – Makhuwa-Marrevone
xsq – Makhuwa-Saka
The Makhuwa language, Emakhuwa (also spelled Makua and Macua) is the primary Bantu language of northern Mozambique. It is spoken by 4 million Makua people, who live north of the Zambezi River, particularly in the province of Nampula. It is the most populous indigenous language of Mozambique.
Maho (2009) lists the following dialects:
- Central Makhuwa (3.1 million)
- Meetto (Metto) (1.3 million, including Ruvuma)
- Chirima (Shirima) (1.5 million, including subdialects Kokola, Lolo, Manyawa, Marenje, Takwane)
- Marrevone (Coastal Makhuwa; 460,000 including Enahara)
- Enahara (Naharra)
- Esaka (Saka, 210,000)
- Ruvuma Makhuwa (Tanzanian Makhuwa, including subdialects Imithupi, Ikorovere)
Mutual intelligibility between these is limited. Central Makhuwa ("Makhuwa-Makhuwana") is the basis of the standard language. Ethnologue lists Central Makhuwa, Meetto–Ruvuma, Marrevone–Enahara, and Esaka as separate languages, and Chirima as six languages.
The population figures are from Ethnologue for 2006. They tally 3.1 million speakers of Central Makhuwa and 3.5 million of the other varieties, though the Ethnologue article for Central Makhuwa covers Marrevone and Enahara, so these might be double counted.
- Oliver Kröger (2005), Report on a Survey of Coastal Makua Dialects (SIL International)
- Relatório do I Seminário sobre a Padronização da Ortografia de Línguas Moçambicanas, NELIMO, Maputo, 1989.
- Muluku Onnalavuliha Àn'awe, Ajuda à Igreja que Sofre, 1997.
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