Kwanyama / Kuanyama Language – 239

Kwanyama, also known as Kuanyama, is a Bantu language spoken by the Kwanyama people, primarily in northern Namibia and southern Angola. It is one of the dialects of the Ovambo language group, which is part of the larger Niger-Congo language family. Kwanyama is one of the recognised national languages in Namibia and holds official status in Angola.

Kwanyama uses the Latin alphabet for its written form, and efforts have been made to standardise its orthography to facilitate literacy and education. The language has a rich oral tradition, encompassing storytelling, proverbs, and songs that play a significant role in the cultural identity of the Kwanyama people. Despite the influence of other languages, particularly Portuguese in Angola and English in Namibia, Kwanyama remains a vital part of the community’s heritage. Efforts to preserve and promote the language include its use in local media, educational programmes, and cultural initiatives, ensuring that it continues to be a living and vibrant language.

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