Saturday, January 31, 2009

Language and Common Phrases

The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, but this is spoken only by the approximate quarter of the population that has received school education. Portuguese is the language of the Mozambican education, business, and legal systems, which poses a problem for the great majority of the population who cannot read or speak it.

Bantu Languages
Approximately 60 other languages and dialects are spoken in Mozambique. All are of Bantu origin, and can be roughly categorized by geography. The 40% of the Mozambican population living north of the Zambezi speaks the endemic Makua-Longwe dialects. Tsonga predominates south of the Limpopo, and Tonga and Shona are spoken in the central region. Some people in the northern coastal regions also speak KiSwahili, a simplified Bantu language with Arabic influences.

Shangana (spoken where we will be near Masaca) & Portugese :
Hello- Xeweni
Good morning- Bom dia
Good Morning- Dzi xili
Good afternoon- Boa tarde
Good bye- Hambanini
Good night- Boa noite
Thank you- Kanimambu
Thank you- Obrigada/o
Yes- hin
Yes- Sim
No – Hinhi
No- Nao
How much is it?- I mali muni?
How much is it?- Quanto custa?

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