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Tumbuka language is a Bantu language which is spoken in parts of Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania.
The language of the
Tumbuka people is called chiTumbuka — the chi- marker in front of Tumbuka means "the language of the", and is understood in this case " the language of (the Tumbuka people)". This marker is similar to shi- in shimaore, se- ( si- in some parts of this language area) in seTswana / siTswana or ki- in kiSwahili, and iki- (or ki-) in Ikinyarwanda / Kinyarwanda, among several examples.
The World Almanac (1998) estimates approximately 2,000,000 Tumbuka speakers exist in the aforementioned three countries.
There are substantial differences between the form of Tumbuka spoken in urban areas (which borrows some words from
Swahili and Chewa and the "village" or "deep" Tumbuka spoken in villages. The [kyela [Rumphi]] variant is often regarded as the most "linguistically pure", and is sometimes called "real Tumbuka". The Mzimba dialect has been strongly influenced by Zulu (chiNgoni), even so far as to have clicks in words like chitha "urinate", which do not occur in other dialects. [ʇʰitʰa] Senga "dialect" is not actually Tumbuka at all, but a Sabi language more closely related to Bemba.
Linguistic descriptions [ edit ]
Some remarks on Tumbuka as well as the related Tonga language can be found in W.M.Turner,
Tumbuka–Tonga–English Dictionary The Hetherwick Press, Blantyre (now Malawi) MCMLII. Unlike most Bantu languages, Tumbuka does not have tone.
Some vocabulary [ edit ]
bingu = cloud
bondo = spoor, hoofmarks of game
chaka = year, annual sports day - plural: *vyaka
charu = country, land
chigwere = hippo
dongo = earth, soil, mud, clay
finyi (adjective) = narrow
jambuloko = a ford, a wading-across place
kaya = home
khutu = ear
kubwaranthika = to leap
woko = hand, arm
lizgu = word, voice
lukutu = pen, fold, roofed kraal for livestock - plural: * malukutu
Helpful phrases [ edit ]
Enya = Yes
Yayi = No
Yebo = Thank you
Taonga = We are thankful
nkumba chakurya! = I want some food !
munga nipako chakurya? = could you give me some food?
Ine nkhuyowoya chiTumbuka yayi! = I do not speak chiTumbuka!
Yendani makola. = Travel well.
Nkhukumba maji yakumya. = I would like water to drink.
Greetings [ edit ]
Mwawuka uli ? = Good morning. (How did you wake up?)
Tawuka makola. Kwali imwe? = Fine. And you? (I woke up well. I don't know about you?)
Tawuka makola = I am fine. (I woke up well.)
Muli uli ? = How are you?
Nili makola, kwali imwe? = I am fine, how are you?
Mwatandala uli? = Good afternoon. (How did you spend the day?)
Natandala makola. Kwali imwe? = Good afternoon. How are you? (I spent the day well. I don't know about you?)
Monile. = somewhat more formal than "Hi." Perhaps best translated as "Greetings."
Tionanange = We shall meet again.
Ba nyamata = boys
mu nyamata = boy
Ba sungwana = girls
mu sungwana = girl
ba mwali = young ladies
ba nchebere = a woman with babies
ba mama = mother
ba dada = dad
ba gogo = grandmother
ba buya = grandmother, also used when addressing old female persons
ba sekulu = grandfather
ba nkazi = paternal aunty
ba mama ba choko / kulu = maternal aunty usually your mother's younger/older sister
ba sibweni = maternal uncle
ba dada ba choko/kulu = paternal uncle usually your father's younger/older brother
mu dumbu wane = my brother/ sister ( for addressing sibling of the opposite sex )
mu choko wane/mu zuna wane = my brother/ sister ( for addressing sibling of the same sex)
Kusebela = to play
Kuseka = to laugh
Kurya = to eat
Kugona = to sleep
Kwenda = to walk
Kuchimbila = to run
Kulemba = to write
Kuchapa = to do laundry
Kugeza = to bath
Kupika = to cook
Kulima = to dig / cultivate
Kupanda = to plant
Kuvina = to dance
Kwimba = to sing
Animals [ edit ]
Fulu = Tortoise
Kalulu = Hare
Chimbwi = hyena
njoka = Snake
nkhumba = pig
n'gombe = cow
nchebe = dog
chona/pusi = cat
mbelele = sheep
nkalamu = lion
mbuzi = goat
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]