|Region||Luanda Province, Bengo Province , Malanje Province|
|4 million (2012)|
Kimbundu proper (Ngola)
Kimbundu, or North Mbundu, one of two Bantu languages called Mbundu (see Umbundu), is the second-most-widely spoken Bantu language in Angola. It is concentrated in the north-west of the country, notably in the Luanda Province, the Bengo Province, the Malanje Province and the Cuanza Norte Province. It is spoken by the Ambundu.
The Kimbundu script was developed by Capuchin and Jesuit missionaries. While they produced many texts and grammars, most of them demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding or oversimplification of the Kimbundu language. The unfortunate effects of this are still felt today, though, since independence, great strides to elaborate and codify the orthography and grammar of the most important languages spoken in Angola, and recognised as "national languages", have been made.
Kimbundu uses the relatively shallow orthography standardized by the ruling MPLA for use in all Angolan "national languages". Important differences from the Portuguese-based orthography used by the colonizers include the omission of the consonant "r" (since there is no [r] in Kimbundu) and the rules governing vowel orthography (diphthongs are not allowed and vowels are thus changed to "w" or "y" depending on the environment). It has 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u), the u also having the function of a semi-vowel. Certain consonants are represented by two letters, such as mb in mbambi (gazelle), or nj in njila (bird).
- muthu: "person"
- kima: "thing"
- kudya: "food"
- tubya: "fire"
- lumbu: "wall"
- kamba: "friend"
- hoji: "lion"
- nzamba: "elephant"
Some Kimbundu words were influential to Romance languages like Portuguese, with words like banjo (supposedly from mbanza), bwe, baza, kuatu, kamba, arimo, mleke, quilombo (from kilombo), quimbanda, tanga, xinga, bunda, etc.
- Kimbundu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kimbundu". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
- Ambundu is the short form for Akwa Mbundu and 'Akwa' means 'from', or 'of', or more originally 'originally from' and 'belonging to'. In Kimbundu language the particle Akwa is shortened into simply A, so that instead of Akwa Mbndu it becomes Ambundu; similarly the term Akwa Ngola becomes ANgola, then Angola; Ngola was title for kings in Northern Angolan kingdom in the past, before the Portuguese invasion.
- Collections for a handbook of the Boondéi language By Herbert Willoughby Woodward (1882)
- The art of the language of Angola, author Father Pedro Dias, published in 1697
- Emuseum article on Kimbundu
- PanAfrican L10n page on Kimbundu
- Kimbundu people
- Ethnic groups of Angola