Languages

Bemba

Fact corner

Introduction

The Bemba language, Chibemba, is a Bantu language that is spoken primarily in Zambia by the Bemba people and about 18 related ethnic groups. The noun class prefix 'chi-' indicates languages and the prefix 'ba-' indicates people, so 'Babemba' also means the Bemba people.

Bemba and its dialects are spoken and understood by a sizable percentage of the population of Zambia. Over three million people are estimated to be native Bemba speakers in Zambia alone, with others using Bemba as a second language. Bemba is used as a lingua franca in Zambian cities.

Bemba is also spoken, to a lesser extent, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Botswana.

It is an SVO language, and is also a tonal language.

The verb

Sample verb: fwáy

Today past Today future Remote past
Sg.1 n-ací-fwáy-a n-léé-fwáy-a n-aalíí-fwáy-ile
Sg.2 u-ací-fwáy-a ? ?
Sg.3 ? ? ?
Pl.1 ? ? ?
Pl.2 ? ? ?
Pl.3 ? ? ?

Conjugate other Bemba verbs

Click verbs to conjugate them in the table above!
fwáy, lím, sáng.

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