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A language of South Africa

ISO 639-3zul

Population  9,980,000 in South Africa (2006), increasing. Population total all countries: 10,349,100.
Region  Zululand and north Natal. Also in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland.
Language map  Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland, reference number 14
Alternate names   Isizulu, Zunda
Dialects  Lala, Qwabe. Similar to Swazi [ssw] and Xhosa [xho].
Classification  Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.40)
Language use  Official language. 15,700,000 L2 speakers.
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 70%. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Newspapers. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1883–1959.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Zulu
Population  248,000 in Lesotho (1993).
Region  Butha-Buthe District, Caledonspoort Border Post.
Language map  Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland, reference number 14


Language name   Zulu
Population  37,500 in Malawi (1966 census).
Alternate names  Isizulu, Kingoni, Ngoni, Zunda
Comments  Ngoni is a dialect of Zulu or Swazi spoken in Malawi. ‘Ngoni’ also used as an alternate name for Chichewa and possibly for Matengo.


Language name   Zulu
Population  3,000 in Mozambique (2006).
Language map  Mozambique, reference number 41
Alternate names  Isizulu, Zunda


Language name   Zulu
Population  76,000 in Swaziland (Johnstone 1993).
Language map 
Alternate names  Isizulu, Zunda
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