Mambwe-Lungu language

The Mambwe and Lungu peoples living at the southern end of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania and Zambia speak a common language with minor dialectical differences. Perhaps half of the Fipa people to their north speak it as a native language. When spoken by the Fipa, it is called "Fipa-Mambwe"; this is also the term for the branch of Bantu languages which includes Fipa and Mambwe-Lungu.

Mambwe language is spoken by the people who are found in Rukwa region, southern Sumbawanga town. It is a language which is one of the three dialects spoken by the indigenous people of Rukwa Region. People of this region speak Fipa, Mambwe and Kinyiha. Mambwe language is spoken likely to Fipa but there variation in which some terms are understood among the speaker of these two languages Mambwe language is also spoken in some parts of Zambia as their mother tongue although they differ in manners of articulation.

Native toTanzania, Zambia
EthnicityMambwe, Lungu, Fipa
Native speakers
500,000 (2002 & 2010 censuses)[1]
  • Mambwe (Ichimambwe)
  • Cilungu/Lungu (Ichirungu, Adong)
  • Fipa-Mambwe (Kifipa cha kimambwe)
Language codes
ISO 639-3mgr


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

External links

Lungu people

The Lungu people (also known as Rungu or Tabwa) are an ethnic and linguistic group living primarily on the southwestern shores of Lake Tanganyika, on the Marungu massif in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in southwestern Tanzania and northeastern Zambia. They speak dialects of the Mambwe-Lungu language, a Bantu language closely related to that of the nearby Bemba people and Luba people.

Lungu people comprise several clans and many subclans based on matrilineal descent, some with their own dialects, which are depicted as separate tribes on older ethnographic maps. reports a population of 851,359 Lungu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1999. In 1987 the Rungu population in Tanzania was estimated to number 34,000. The number of Rungu in Zambia has not been independently estimated, though the combined number of Mambwe and Rungu in Zambia was estimated to be 262,800 in 1993 [1].

Official language
Regional languages
Indigenous languages
Sign languages


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