Languages of Zambia

Languages of Zambia

Many languages are spoken in Zambia, most of them of the Bantu language family. The Ethnologue report on Zambia [ lists 42 languages] and many more dialects spoken in Zambia. A Zambian languages website [ lists 78 languages] . Some of the difference may be attributed to dialects in the Ethnologue list being counted as languages in the second list. The seven most widely spoken indigenous languages have been elevated to official status by the Zambian government; these are Bemba, Nyanja, Kaonde, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, and Tonga. Most of these languages are confined to specific parts of Zambia; as George Kay wrote, "no one tribe dominates Zambia in terms of either areal extent or population numbers".ref|kay

The national language since Zambia's independence in 1964 is English. English functions as a lingua franca throughout the more urbanized parts of Zambia, although urbanized forms of Bemba and Nyanja have taken the lead in Copperbelt and Lusaka, respectively. From 1964 on, English has also been the primary medium of instruction in the education system. The Constitution of Zambia guarantees that "The State shall take measure to promote the practice, enjoyment and development by any person of that person's culture, tradition, custom and language"ref|constition


# George Kay (1967) as cited in Ohannessian & Kashoki (1978).
# Constitution of Zambia, 9.112.g
:General references:* Kashoki, Mubanga E. and Ohannessian, Sirarpa. (1978) "Language in Zambia". London: International African Institute.:* Kashoki, Mubanga E. (1990) "The Factor of Language in Zambia". Lusaka: Kenneth Kaunda Foundation.:* Tordoff, William (ed.) (1974) "Politics in Zambia". Manchester: Manchester University Press:* [Republic of Zambia] . Constitution of Zambia 1991 (as amended by Act no. 18 of 1996).

External links

* [ Ethnologue Listing of Zambian Languages]
* [ Languages of Zambia]

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