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|Native to||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|(6.3 million cited 1991)|
|Native to||DR Congo|
|ISO 639-3||None (
Luba-Kasai, also known as Western Luba, Bena-Lulua, Ciluba/Tshiluba, Luba-Lulua or Luva, is a Bantu language (Zone L) of Central Africa and an official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, alongside Lingala, Swahili, and Kikongo.
An eastern dialect is spoken by the Luba people of the East Kasai Region and a western dialect by the Lulua people of the West Kasai Region. The total number of speakers was estimated at 6.3 million in 1991.
Within the Zone L Bantu languages, Luba-Kasai is one of a group of languages which form the "Luba" group, together with Kaonde (L40), Kete (L20), Kanyok, Luba-Katanga (KiLuba), Sanga, Zela and Bangubangu. The L20, L30 and L60 languages are also grouped as the Luban languages within Zone L Bantu.
Geographic distribution and dialects
Tshiluba is chiefly spoken in a large area in the Kasaï Occidental and Kasaï Oriental provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, the differences in Tshiluba within this area are minor, consisting mostly of differences in tones and vocabulary, and speakers understand each other without a problem. Both dialects are further made up of sub-dialects. Additionally, there is also a pidginised variety of Tshiluba, especially in cities where the everyday spoken Tshiluba is enriched with French words and even words from other languages such as Lingala or Swahili. Nevertheless, this variety is not a typical form of a pidgin since it not common to every one, and changes its morphology and the quantity and degree to which words from other languages are used. Its form changes depending on who speaks it and varies from city to city and from one social class to another. However, in general people speak the regular Tshiluba language in their daily lives rather than the pidgin. The failure of the language to be taught at school has resulted in the replacement of native words by French words for the most part. For instance, when people are speaking they generally count in French rather than in Tshiluba; this situation where French and Tshiluba are used simultaneously makes linguists think the language has been pidginised while in reality it has not.
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|Western dialects||Eastern dialects||English|
|Mankaji (shi)/tatu mukaji||tatu mukaji||aunty|
|A a||B b||C c||D d||E e||F f||G g||H h||I
|K k||L l||M m||N n||Ng ng||Ny ny||O o||P p||S s||Sh sh||T t||U u||V v||W w||Y y||Z z|
|Phonemes in Tshiluba|
Tshiluba does not have the phoneme /r/.
The letters q, r and x appear only in loanwords from French and sometimes Swahili. The grapheme r, in loanwords, is pronounced as d or l: maringa to madinga, veranda to velando or balanda.
- Bantu bonsu badi baledibwa badikadile ne badi ne makokeshi amwe. Badi ne lungenyi lwa bumuntu ne kondo ka moyo, badi ne bwa kwenzelangana malu mu buwetu.
- "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
- Ciluba at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Luba-Lulua". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
- The prefix tshi/ci means "language"
- "Tshiluba language and alphabet". www.omniglot.com. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Rosetta Project: A Long Now Foundation Library of Human Language (no author). (2010). https://archive.org/details/rosettaproject_lua_undec-1
- Samuel Phillips Verner (1899). Mukanda wa Chiluba. Spottiswoode. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Stappers, Leo. Tonologische bijdrage tot de studie van het werkwoord in het tshiluba. 1949. Mémoires (Institut royal colonial belge. Section des sciences morales et politiques). Collection in-8o ; t. 18, fasc. 4.
- de Schryver, Gilles-Maurice. Cilubà Phonetics: Proposals for a 'Corpus-Based Phonetics from Below' Approach. 1999. Research Centre of African Languages and Literatures, University of Ghent.
- DeClercq, P. Grammaire de la langue des bena-lulua. 1897. Polleunis et Ceuterick.
- Willems, Em. Het Tshiluba van Kasayi voor beginnelingen. 1943. Sint Norbertus.