Sena language

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Native to Mozambique, Malawi
Ethnicity Sena
Native speakers
1.6 million  (2001–2006)[1]
Rue (Barwe)
Official status
Official language in
 Zimbabwe (as 'Chibarwe')
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
seh – Mozambiquean Sena
swk – Malawian Sena
bwg – Barwe
N.44,441 (N.45,46)[2]
Linguasphere 99-AUS-xi incl. varieties 99-AUS-xia...-xic; also 99-AUS-xj (chi-Rue) & 99-AUS-xm (chi-Podzo)

Sena is spoken in the four provinces of central Mozambique (Zambezi valley): Tete, Sofala, Zambezia and Manica. There were an estimated 900,000 native Sena speakers in Mozambique in 1997, with at least 1.5 million including those who speak it as second language.

Sena is spoken in several dialects, of which Rue and Podzo are divergent. The Sena of Malawi may be a distinct language. Barwe (Chibarwe) has official recognition in Zimbabwe.


  1. ^ Mozambiquean Sena at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Malawian Sena at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Barwe at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online