Fipa language

Fipa (Fipa: Ichifipa) is a Bantu language of Tanzania. It is spoken by the Fipa people, who live on the Ufipa plateau in the Rukwa Region of South West Tanzania between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Rukwa. The ethnic group of the Fipa people is larger than the group of Fipa language speakers. On the Tanzanian side, people who speak Mambwe-Lungu may identify as Fipa and consider their language to be a dialect of Fipa. Lungu and Mambwe are also spoken in Zambia where they are considered languages and their speakers are considered to be ethnic groups in their own right, although linguists consider Lungu and Mambwe to be dialects of a single language. There are three dialects: Milanzi (also referred to as IchiSukuuma), Kwa (Ichikwa) and Nkansi.

Maho (2009) classifies M.131 Kulwe (Kuulwe, no ISO code) as closest to Fipa. Otherwise the dialects are Milanzi (Fipa-Sukuma, Icisukuuma), South Fipa, Kandaasi (Icikandaasi), Siiwa (Icisiiwa), Nkwaamba (Icinkwaamba), Kwa (Icikwa), Kwaafi (Icikwaafi), Ntile (Icintile, Cile), Peemba (Icipeemba).

Native toTanzania
EthnicityFipa people
Native speakers
200,000 (2002 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3fip


  1. ^ Fipa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Fipa". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online


  • Labroussi, Catherine. 1998. Le couloir de lacs: Contributions linguistique à l’histoire des populations du sud-ouest de la Tanzanie. Doctoral Dissertation, INALCO.
  • Labroussi, Catherine. 1999. Vowel systems and spirantization in S.W. Tanzania. In Bantu historical linguistics, ed. Jean-Marie Hombert and Larry M. Hyman, 335–377. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
  • Struck, Bernhard. 1911. Die Fipasprache. Anthropos 6:951–994.
  • Walsh, Martin T., and Imani N. Swilla. 2000. Linguistics in the corridor: A review of research on the Bantu languages of south-west Tanzania, north-east Zambia and north Malawi. Ms, Dar es Salaam.
  • Whiteley, W. H. 1964. Suggestions for recording a Bantu language in the field. Tanganyika Notes and Records 62:1–19.
  • Willis, Roy G. 1966. The Fipa and related peoples of south-west Tanzania and north-east Zambia. London: International African Institute.
  • Willis, Roy G. 1968. The Fipa. In Tanzania before 1900, ed. Andrew Roberts, 82–95. Nairobi: East African Publishing House.
  • Willis, Roy G. 1978. There was a certain man: Spoken art of the Fipa. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Woodward, Mark, Anna-Lena Lindfors, and Louise Nagler. 2008. A sociolinguistic survey of the Fipa language community: Ethnic diversity and dialect diversity. SIL Electronic Survey Report, SIL International.

External links

Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is the second-oldest freshwater lake in the world, the second-largest by volume, and the second-deepest, in all cases after Lake Baikal in Siberia. It is the world's longest freshwater lake. The lake is divided among four countries – Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, and Zambia, with Tanzania (46%) and DRC (40%) possessing the majority of the lake. The water flows into the Congo River system and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean.

MV Liemba

MV Liemba, formerly Graf Goetzen or Graf von Goetzen, is a passenger and cargo ferry that runs along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The Marine Services Company Limited of Tanzania sails her, with numerous stops to pick up and set down passengers, between the ports of Kigoma, Tanzania and Mpulungu, Zambia.

Graf von Goetzen was built in 1913 in Germany, and was one of three vessels the German Empire used to control Lake Tanganyika during the early part of the First World War. Her captain had her scuttled on 26 July 1916 in Katabe Bay during the German retreat from Kigoma. In 1924, a British Royal Navy salvage team raised her and in 1927 she returned to service as Liemba. Liemba is the last vessel of the German Imperial Navy still actively sailing anywhere in the world.

Liemba is believed to be the inspiration for the German gunboat Luisa in C. S. Forester's 1935 novel The African Queen, and John Huston's subsequent film version. The ship featured in the 1992 BBC Television travel series Pole to Pole. Indican Pictures and Breadbox Productions released a documentary on the ship in 2010, Liemba.

Official languages


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