What languages do they speak in Zimbabwe?
The official language of Zimbabwe is English. English is widely spoken and understood, especially in urban areas, government offices, and the tourism industry.
However, Zimbabwe is a linguistically diverse country, and there are several other languages spoken by different ethnic groups. Some of the major indigenous languages spoken in Zimbabwe include:
- Shona: Shona is the most widely spoken native language in Zimbabwe. It is spoken by the majority of the population, particularly in the eastern and northern parts of the country. There are several dialects of Shona, including Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, and Ndau.
- Ndebele: Ndebele is the second most widely spoken indigenous language in Zimbabwe. It is spoken mainly in the southwestern region of the country, including the city of Bulawayo and surrounding areas.
- Tonga: Tonga is spoken by the Tonga people who live in the northern regions of Zimbabwe, particularly around Lake Kariba.
- Chewa: Chewa is spoken by the Chewa people, primarily in the eastern part of Zimbabwe, near the border with Mozambique.
- Kalanga: Kalanga is spoken by the Kalanga people who reside in the western part of Zimbabwe, mainly in the Matabeleland South province.
- Many other languages: Zimbabwe is also home to various smaller ethnic groups, each with their own languages, including Venda, Nambya, Shangani, Sotho, and others.
It’s important to note that while English is the primary language for official and business purposes, knowledge of basic greetings or phrases in Shona or Ndebele can be greatly appreciated by locals and enhance your cultural experience when interacting with the people of Zimbabwe.