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Learn Chibemba

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Where Is It Spoken?

Zambia

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Number Of Speakers

4,000,000

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Language Family

Bantu

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Fun facts about Chibemba

Chibemba is a tonal language with only two tones but learners must be careful to distinguish 'ulúpwá', meaning 'family', from 'úlupwá' meaning 'aubergine'!

Like its close relative Swahili, Chibemba is a Bantu language. English words borrowed into Chibemba are adapted to the pronunciation and grammar. A 'kettle' is an 'áka-etulo' but 'kettles' are 'útu-etulo'.

All things, living and non-living, are classed into specific groups identifiable by their prefix, which has singular and plural equivalents.

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