Transvaal Ndebele language
|Native to||South Africa|
|Region||Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, North West|
|1.1 million (2011 census)
1.4 million L2 speakers (2002)
|Latin (Ndebele alphabet)
Official language in
The Transvaal Ndebele language (Southern Ndebele, isiNdebele or Nrebele) is an African language belonging to the Nguni group of Bantu languages, and spoken by the amaNdebele (the Ndebele people of South Africa).
The Ndebele people’s history has been traced back to King Ndebele, King Ndebele fathered King Mkhalangana, King Mkhalangana fathered King Mntungwa (not to be confused with the Khumalo Mntungwa, because he was fathered by Mbulazi), King Mntungwa fathered King Jonono, King Jonono fathered King Nanasi, King Nanasi fathered King Mafana, king Mafana fathered King Mhlanga and Chief Libhoko, King Mhlanga fathered King Musi and Chief Skhube.
Ndebele- Some of his sons were left behind with the Hlubi tribe Mkhalangana - Some of his sons branched and formed the Kalanga tribe Mntungwa - Founder of the amaNtungwa clan Njonono - He died in Jononoskop near Ladysmith – Surname Jonono is in the Hlubi tribe Nanasi - He died in Jononoskop near Ladysmith – Surname Nanasi is in the Hlubi tribe Mafana - He died in Randfontein (Emhlangeni) Mhlanga - He died in Randfontein (Emhlangeni) Musi - He died in kwaMnyamana (Pretoria)
King Musi’s kraal was based at eMhlangeni a place named after his father Mhlanga, the name of the place is currently known as Randfontein (Mohlakeng) and later moved to KwaMnyamana which is now called Emarula or Bon Accord in Pretoria. King Musi was a polygamist and fathered the following sons, Skhosana (Masombuka), Manala (Mbuduma), Ndzundza (Hlungwana), Thombeni (Kekana or Gegana), Sibasa, Mhwaduba (Lekhuleni) and Mphafuli and others.
Ndebele is one of the eleven official languages in the Republic of South Africa. The language is a Nguni or Zunda classification (UN) spoken mostly in the Mpumalanga Province, Gauteng, Limpopo and the Northwest.
The expression "isikhethu" can be loosely translated to mean 'the Ndebele way of doing or saying'. Isikhethu means Ndebele the same way that sikitsi will mean Swazi and se harona will mean Sotho. The language has been severely marginalized over the years. Until the formation of the apartheid Ndebele homeland (KwaNdebele), speaking the language publicly was discouraged. Most Ndebele speakers preferred Zulu especially because the latter was learned at school. Today the Ndebele speakers, mostly those who are educated still prefer to use Ndebele as home language for their children and will use Ndebele as a language to communicate with other Ndebele speakers.
Months in Ndebele
|English||Northern Ndebele (Zimbabwe)||Southern Ndebele (South Africa)|
AmaNdebele In Zimbabwe
The two Ndebele groups are both part of the Nguni language group and are therefore mutually intelligible to some extent. However, the Zimbabwean Ndebele is part of the Zunda sub-group of the Nguni languages (which includes Xhosa and Zulu) while the South African (or Transvaal Ndebele), while maintaining its Nguni roots, has been influenced by the Sotho languages.
- Transvaal Ndebele at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Webb, Vic. 2002. "Language in South Africa: the role of language in national transformation, reconstruction and development." Impact: Studies in language and society, 14:78
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "South Ndebele". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
- Skhosana, P.B. (2010) The Linguistic Relationship between Southern and Northern Ndebele, University of Pretoria, DLitt Thesis
|Transvaal Ndebele language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
- List links to Ndebele language resources
- The 1971 Pelling lexicon of Ndebele->English (text file) (on a stable Archive.org link)
- CBOLD - Comparative Bantu Online Dictionary - including Ndebele
- Spell checker for OpenOffice.org and Mozilla, OpenOffice.org, Mozilla Firefox web-browser, and Mozilla Thunderbird email program in Ndebele
- Project to translate Free and Open Source Software into Ndebele