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North Mbundu
Native to Angola
Region Luanda Province, Bengo Province , Malanje Province
Ethnicity Ambundu
Native speakers
4 million[citation needed] (2012)[1]
  • Kimbundu proper (Ngola)
  • Mbamba (Njinga)
Language codes
ISO 639-2 kmb
ISO 639-3 kmb
Glottolog kimb1241[2]

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, Bengo Province, Malanje Province and the Cuanza Norte Province. It is spoken by the Ambundu.[4]


Consonant Phonemes
b d f ɡ h ʒ
k l m n p ɾ
s t v ʃ z
Vowel Phonemes
a e i ɔ u

If the i or u comes before another vowel, they are pronounced as /y/ and /w/ (ex: iiii {yee-yee}, uiua {wee-wah}). Within double vowels, each vowel is pronounced individually, unlike a diphthong. Accents include the acute /á/, grave /à/, and circumflex /â/. At the end of a word, the accent rests on the first vowel (ex: rikau, sai {rikáu, sái}). In the middle of a word, the second vowel has the accent (ex: bauka, sai-ku {kubaúka, saí-ku}).[5]


  1. ^ Kimbundu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Kimbundu". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Chatelain, Heli (1888–89). Kimbundu grammar: grammatica elementar do kimbundu ou lingua de Angola. 

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