Southern Ndebele language

Southern Ndebele (English: /ɛndəˈbl/), also known as Transvaal Ndebele[1] or South Ndebele,[4][5] is an African language belonging to the Nguni group of Bantu languages, spoken by the Ndebele people of South Africa.

Southern Ndebele
Transvaal Ndebele
isiNdebele seSewula
Native toSouth Africa
RegionMpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, North West
Native speakers
1.1 million (2011 census)[1]
1.4 million L2 speakers (2002)[2]
Latin (Ndebele alphabet)
Ndebele Braille
Signed Ndebele
Official status
Official language in
 South Africa
Language codes
ISO 639-1nr – South Ndebele
ISO 639-2nbl – South Ndebele
ISO 639-3nbl – South Ndebele
Glottologsout2808
S.407[3]
Linguasphere99-AUT-fi + 99-AUT-fj
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Geographical distribution of isiNdebele in South Africa: proportion of the population that speaks isiNdebele at home.
  •   0–20%
  •   20–40%
  •   40–60%
  •   60–80%
  •   80–100%
Geographical distribution of isiNdebele in South Africa: density of isiNdebele home-language speakers.
  •   <1 /km²
  •   1–3 /km²
  •   3–10 /km²
  •   10–30 /km²
  •   30–100 /km²
  •   100–300 /km²
  •   300–1000 /km²
  •   1000–3000 /km²
  •   >3000 /km²
Bilingual sign in Afrikaans and Transvaal Ndebele at the Pretoria Art Museum

There is also a different language called Northern Ndebele or Northern Transvaal Ndebele also known as isiNdebele seNyakatho or simply siNdebele, spoken in Limpopo in areas such as Polokwane (Bhulungwane), Ga-Rathoka (KaSontronga), Ga-Mashashane, Kalkspruit, Mokopane (Mghumbane), Zebediela (Sebetiela), which is closer to Southern Ndebele.[6]


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Southern Ndebele language, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.