World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0007163462
Reproduction Date:

Title: Umbundu  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of official languages, Bantu languages, Angola, Ovimbundu, Dutch Loango-Angola
Collection: Bantu Languages, Languages of Angola, Languages of Namibia, Southern Mbundu
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


South Mbundu
Native to Angola
Ethnicity Ovimbundu
Native speakers
6 million (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2 umb
ISO 639-3 umb
Glottolog umbu1257[2]

Umbundu, or South Mbundu (autonym úmbúndú), one of two Bantu languages of Angola called Mbundu (see Kimbundu), is the most widely spoken language of Angola. Speakers are known as Ovimbundu, who constitute a third of the Angolan people. Their homeland is the Central Highlands of Angola and the coastal region west of these highlands, including the cities of Benguela and Lobito. Because of recent internal migration there are now also large communities in Luanda and its surrounding province, as well as in Lubango.


  • Phonology 1
  • Vocabulary 2
  • Sample text in Umbundu 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Umbundu has three tones: low, high and downstepped high. The first acute accent (á) in a word represents a high tone. Subsequent acute accents represent downstepped high tones. The low tone is represented by a grave accent (à). Unmarked syllables carry the same tone as the preceding syllable.


  • Welcome - Ukombe weya ("The guest has come")
  • Hello - Wakolapo? (sg); Wakolipo? (pl)
  • How are you? - Wakolapo? (sg); Wakolipo? (pl)
  • I'm fine thanks, and you? - Ndakolapo ("I'm fine); Twakolapo ("We're fine)
  • What's your name? - Velye olonduko vene? (frm); Helye onduko yove? (inf)
  • My name is ... - Onduko yange ame ...
  • Where are you from? - Pi ofeka yove? ("Where is your country?")
  • I'm from ... - Ofeka yange ... ("My country is ...")
  • Good morning - Utanya uwa
  • Good afternoon - Ekumbi liwa
  • Good evening - Uteke uwa
  • Good night - Uteke uwa; Pekelapo ciwa ("Sleep well")
  • Goodbye - Ndanda. ("I went")
  • Do you speak English? - Ove ovangula inglese?
  • Do you speak Umbundu? - Ove ovangula umbundu?
  • Sorry - Ngecele (sg); Twecele (pl)
  • Please - Ndinge ohenda. ("Give me pity")
  • Thank you - Ndapandula (sg); Twapandula (pl)
  • Reply - Lacimwe

Sample text in Umbundu

Omanu vosi vacitiwa valipwa kwenda valisoka kovina vyosikwenda komoko. Ovo vakwete esunga kwenda, kwenda olondunge kwenje ovo vatêla okuliteywila kuvamwe kwenda vakwavo vesokolwilo lyocisola.

Translation: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) vokussumba suko onhe?


  1. ^ Umbundu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Umbundu".  
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online

Further reading

  • Schadeberg, Thilo C. (1982) 'Nasalization in Umbundu', Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, 4, 2, 109–132.
  • Gladwyn M. Childs 'Umbundu Kinship and Character: Being a Description of Social Structure and Individual Development of the Ovimbundu', London: Oxford University Press, 1949. ISBN 0-8357-3227-4.

External links

  • Umbundu Lessons
  • Dictionary Umbundu – Medical Hospital Nossa Senhora da Paz, Cubal, Angola.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.