Kwanyama dialect

Kwanyama or Oshikwanyama is a national language of Angola and Namibia. It is a standardized dialect of the Ovambo language, and is mutually intelligible with Oshindonga, the other Ovambo dialect with a standard written form.

The entire Christian Bible has been translated into Kwanyama and was first published in 1974 under the name Ombibeli by the South African Bible Society.[4]

Native toNamibia and Angola
Native speakers
(250,000 in Namibia (2006);
420,000 in Angola cited 1993)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-1kj
ISO 639-2kua
ISO 639-3kua


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t~t̪ k
voiced b d~d̪
prenasal ᵐb ⁿd ⁿdʒ ᵑɡ
Fricative voiceless f (s) ʃ x h
voiced v
Nasal voiced m n ɲ
voiceless ɲ̊ ŋ̊
Approximant w l j

/t/ and /d/ are dentalized when followed by a front vowel /i/. An /s/ sound can only occur in loanwords.

Front Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a


  1. ^ Kwanyama at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kuanyama". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ Ombibeli, 1974, front page


  • Crane, Thera; Lindgren-Streicher, Karl; Wingo, Andy (2004). Hai ti! A Beginner's Guide to Oshikwanyama (PDF).
  • Halme, Riikka (2004). A Tonal Grammar of Kwanyama. pp. 12–18.
  • Zimmerman, W.; Hasheela, P. (1998). Oshikwanyama Grammar. Windhoek: Gamsberg Macmillan.

External links

KUA (disambiguation)

KUA or Kua may refer to:

Keeping Up Appearances, British sitcom written by Roy Clarke

Kimball Union Academy, boarding school in the U.S. state of New Hampshire

Kissimmee Utility Authority, electrical utility in Osceola County, Florida, U.S.

Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Airport, airport near the city of Kuantan in Pahang, Malaysia


Oukwanyama (Uukwanyama in the neighbouring Oshindonga dialect) is a traditional kingdom of the Ovambo people in what is today northern Namibia and southern Angola. Its capital is Ehole.

Ovambo language

The Ovambo (English: ) language, Oshiwambo, is a dialect cluster spoken by the Ovambo people in southern Angola and northern Namibia, of which the written standards are Kwanyama and Ndonga.

The native name for the language is Oshiwambo (also written "Oshivambo"), which is also used specifically for the Kwanyama and Ndonga dialects. It is the largest spoken local language in Namibia, particularly the Ovambo people.

The language is closely related to that of the Herero and Himba, the Herero language (Otjiherero). An obvious sign of proximity is the prefix used for language and dialect names, Proto-Bantu *ki- (class 7, as in the name of the Swahili language, Kiswahili), which in Herero has evolved to Otji- and in Ovambo further to Oshi-.

Official language
National languages
Official language
Recognized regional
Other Bantu languages
Sign languages


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