Talk:Chewa language

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"language is changing every day"[edit]

"The language is changing every day. This is because people are mixing certain words of English with Chichewa.[22]"

1) The article cited does not say that. Even if it was, the article is way too specific to warrant such a general statement, since it takes its data from a "Yahoo group named Ntchezi, which includes many young, elite, and educated Malawians". 2) That the "language is changing every day" is a trivial statement. It is true for every natural language that is not dead. 3) That "people" adopt English words is also not noteworthy, as it is true for very many modern languages.

--> The two sentences should be deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 160.45.6.94 (talk) 15:59, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

You have a point, but I think the writer of this sentence was trying to say something about the extremely rapid change from the old rural Chichewa to the new city Chichewa, more than many other languages. As Maxson writes (page 220): "This element of change in Chichewa is a very important factor. More educated people tend to use Chichewa for chatting but English for formal conversation because of the drift of the language into imprecision. Especially young city people tend to develop their own new ways of speaking. Those in rural areas, and older people everywhere, find it harder of communicate with their urban or younger counterparts." Something along these lines needs to be said, I think, as it makes an important point about the language. Kanjuzi (talk) 20:37, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Status in Zambia?[edit]

I'm getting somewhat conflicting information on whether C(h)inyanja is an "official" language of Zambia or not: it appears that English is the official language, but Cinyanja is one of the officially recognized languages. What does this mean in practice? Jpatokal 12:54, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

The PanAfrican Localisation Zambia page at http://www.panafril10n.org/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/Zambia may be of interest. Leclerc's online "Aménagement linguistique..." (referenced under #10) quotes a line from the consitution on the official language being English. The PanAfriL10n Zambia page quotes an author as saying several other languages are "official," but he likely was using terminology not as strictly or in his own way.

Zambia is of course multilingual and Nyanja is one of several important languages in wide use if not in clear legal status. Leclerc notes that the linguistic policy is not well developed. Of possible interest was a statement by a schoolteachers' union in Zambia last year requesting that science and math instruction be switched to Zambian languages to increase children's understanding [1]. A12n 27 September 2006

Dictionaries -> External links[edit]

I changed "Dictionaries" to "External links" since (1) several items are not dictionaries (and I added another), and (2) the latter is often found on other language pages. --A12n 00:34, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Chingoni[edit]

Is Chingoni really a Nyanja/Chewa dialect? At least this article, which I think qualifies as an authoritative source, identifies Chingoni as the language of the Ngoni people belonging to the Nguni languages, clearly a far cry form Nyanja. Edricson 21:04, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. As your source points out, the Ngoni people in Malawi today speak Chichewa, among other languages, but their own language, Chingoni, is distinct from Chichewa. The two languages are not mutually intelligible.Wawot1 04:31, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The explanation may be as follows. I quote from 'Dictionary of the Nyanja Language' by D.C. Scott and Alexander Hetherwick (1929) page v: 'Sixty years ago most of that country [i.e. the hill country to the west of Lake Nyasa] was overrun by a Zulu tribe from the south of the Zambezi, who called themselves Angoni, and the name is now very generally applied to the Nyanja-speaking people subjugated by them. Among these the Zulu speech has now almost entirely disappeared. The name Angoni, however, is still applied to their conquered subjects, and their Nyanja speech is called Chingoni.' So back in the 1920s 'Chingoni' could be used to refer to a particular dialect of Chinyanja. It is no longer used in this way today, however, as far as I know. Kanjuzi 21 August 2015

Scouting in Malawi[edit]

Can someone render "Be Prepared", the Scout Motto, into Chichewa? Thanks! Chris 03:43, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Be prepared means 'Khalani Okonzeka' in Chichewa —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.203.112.121 (talk) 12:00, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Ninja[edit]

Has anyone ever seen this language referred to as "Ninja?" I saw it listed as such on a résumé I received today. QuinnHK (talk) 23:06, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

A practical manual of the Nyanja language ...  By Alexander Hetherwick[edit]

http://books.google.com/books?id=mWsVAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Rajmaan (talk) 18:19, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

A cyclopaedic dictionary of the Mang'anja language: spoken in British Central Africa By David Clement Ruffelle Scott[edit]

http://books.google.com/books?id=RyskAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Rajmaan (talk) 23:01, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Grammar[edit]

Isn't it a bit surprising that there's no section about the grammar, given that this is such a well-known 'linguist's language'?

IPA transcription[edit]

I have changed /bʒ/ to /bzʲ/, since it seems to me that the sound is closer to 'zy' than to 'zh'. I also deleted /ɸ/ for 'ŵ', since it is always voiced. But I wonder if /β/ is an appropriate transcription? It is not the same as the Spanish /β/ by any means, but pronounced with the tongue pushed forward almost as if saying /θ/. I also added /h/ to the 'semivowel-liquid' column, on the grounds that, like the others, it is an approximant, but I don't know if properly, since the others are voiced and /h/ is voiceless. (Certainly the Tumbuka 'gh' /ɣ/ would belong in this column as the palatal equivalent of 'w' or 'y', if it existed in Chewa.) Perhaps we should also write /d͡ʒ/ and /d͡z/ rather than /dʒ/ and /dz/? Kanjuzi (talk) 05:14, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Been a while since I heard anyone speaking Chichewa so I'm going off memory a bit.
  • Maybe instead of /bʒ/ and /pʃ/, /bʑ/ and /pɕ/ are more accurate, to go along with /bzʲ/ and /psʲ/? The latter are probably the underlying phonemes. Maybe zya should be /zʲ~ʑ/, that might be more accurate too.
  • /h/ is a good addition, I forgot that.
  • I'll go ahead and add tie bars
  • ŵ is still a challenge. I don't think there's a specific IPA symbol for ŵ and /β/ is just the closest most people got, but it's probably something more like /wᵝ/ or /β̺/. I'm going to change it to /wᵝ/ for now but if you have any better ideas please go ahead and change it.
Amateria1121 (talk) 06:10, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 15:39, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure for the reason for this change. The archived Stevick link works but it is rather slower than the direct link at https://fsi-languages.yojik.eu/languages/FSI/Chinyanja/Fsi-ChinyanjaBasicCourse-StudentText.pdf. The altered Zingani link no longer seems to work at all. Kanjuzi (talk) 16:20, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

Chewa or Chichewa?[edit]

I wonder if we should give thought to changing the title of this article to "Chichewa language" or simply "Chichewa"? It would be good to be consistent with other language names (e.g. Zulu, Shona, and so on), but the fact is that in common usage the language is usually called Chichewa. If you type the phrases "Chewa language" and "Chichewa language" into Google ngrams for example, you will find that although 25 years ago "Chewa language" was more common, since then "Chichewa language" has been gaining popularity and is now three times as commonly used. Similarly if you enter "speak Chewa" and "speak Chichewa" into Google, you will find that that latter is 8 times as common; it seems that "speak Chewa" doesn't occur in printed books at all. Not every article on Wikipedia drops the prefix; for example, Lingala and Luganda keep their Lu/Li. If, on the other hand, it is thought desirable for the sake of consistency to keep the title "Chewa language", at least in the body of the article, it might be a good idea to write "Chichewa" where appropriate, to reflect normal usage. Kanjuzi (talk) 12:24, 5 August 2017 (UTC)

Status of "ny"[edit]

Someone moved "ny" to the velar/palatal row, transcribing it with /ɲ/. But this seems to be inaccurate. In Malawian Tonga the sounds /nʲ/ and /ɲ/ are both found, and Chewa "ny" is like the former. The difference is similar to English pairs such as (palatalised alveolar) "dew" and (palatal) "Jew". Kanjuzi (talk) 14:57, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

Transcription of ŵ[edit]

ŵ is accurately described by Atkins (1950) as a "closely lip-rounded [w] with the tongue in the close-i position". But its exact IPA transcription and its position on the table of consonants is unclear. Does anyone have any idea? Kanjuzi (talk) 15:00, 8 March 2019 (UTC)