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Lozi language

Lozi language

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Lozi, also known as siLozi and Rozi, is a Bantu language of the Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo languages
The Niger–Congo languages constitute one of the world's major language families, and Africa's largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. They may constitute the world's largest language family in terms of distinct languages, although this question...

 language family within the Sotho languages
Sotho languages
The Sotho–Tswana languages are a group of closely related Southern Bantu languages spoken in Southern Africa that include:*Tswana , Sotho , Northern Sotho *Lozi...

 branch of Zone S (S.30), that is spoken by the Lozi people
Lozi people
The Lozi people are an ethnic group primarily of western Zambia, inhabiting the region of Barotseland. Lozi are also found in Namibia , Angola and Botswana.-Name:...

, primarily in southwestern Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 and in surrounding countries. This language is most closely related to Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa), Tswana
Tswana language
Tswana or Setswana is a language spoken in Southern Africa by about 4.5 million people. It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho languages branch of Zone S , and is closely related to the Northern- and Southern Sotho languages, as well as the Kgalagadi...

 (Setswana), Kgalagari
Kgalagadi language
SheKgalagari is one of the languages spoken in Botswana, along the South African border and in Namibia. SheKgalagari is spoken by about people. SheKgalagari is the autoglottonym or name of the language used by its native speakers as defined by the United Nations, Kgalagadi is the...

 (SheKgalagari) and Sotho (Sesotho/Southern Sotho). Lozi and its dialects are spoken and understood by approximately six percent of the population of Zambia. Silozi is the autoglottonym  or name of the language used by its native speakers as defined by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. Lozi is the heteroglottonym.

The Lozi language developed from a mixture of two languages: Luyana and Kololo. The Luyana people originally migrated south from the Luba
Luba
Luba may refer to:*Slavic origin feminine name which means "someone who has love"*Luba, Equatorial Guinea*Luba, Abra, a municipality in the Philippines*Ľubá, a village and municipality in the Nitra region of south-west Slovakia...

-Lunda
Lunda
Lunda may refer to:* Lunda Empire incorporating the Lunda Kingdom* Lunda language * Lunda people , speaking Chilunda and living in southern DR Congo, eastern Angola and the North-Western Province of Zambia; also called the Western Lunda to distinguish them from:—* Eastern Lunda or Kazembe-Lunda, a...

 empire in the Katanga
Katanga Province
Katanga Province is one of the provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Between 1971 and 1997, its official name was Shaba Province. Under the new constitution, the province was to be replaced by four smaller provinces by February 2009; this did not actually take place.Katanga's regional...

 area of the Congo River
Congo River
The Congo River is a river in Africa, and is the deepest river in the world, with measured depths in excess of . It is the second largest river in the world by volume of water discharged, though it has only one-fifth the volume of the world's largest river, the Amazon...

 basin, either late in the 17th century or early in the 18th century. The language they spoke, therefore, was closely related to Luba and Lunda. They settled on the floodplains of the upper Zambezi River in what is now western Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 and developed a kingdom, Barotseland
Barotseland
Barotseland is a region in the western part of Zambia, and is the homeland of the Lozi people or Barotse who were previously known as Luyi or Aluyi. Its heartland is the Barotse Floodplain on the upper Zambezi River, also known as Bulozi or Lyondo, but it includes the surrounding higher ground of...

, and also gave their name to the Barotse Floodplain
Barotse Floodplain
The Barotse Floodplain also known as the Bulozi Plain, Lyondo or the Zambezi Floodplain is one of Africa's great wetlands, on the Zambezi River in the Western Province of Zambia...

 or Bulozi.

The Kololo were a Sotho people who used to live in what is now Lesotho. The Kololo were forced to flee from Shaka
Shaka
Shaka kaSenzangakhona , also known as Shaka Zulu , was the most influential leader of the Zulu Kingdom....

 Zulu's Mfecane
Mfecane
Mfecane , also known by the Sesotho name Difaqane or Lifaqane, was a period of widespread chaos and warfare among indigenous tribes in southern Africa during the period between 1815 to about 1840....

 during the 1830s. Using tactics they had copied from the Zulu armies, the Kololo conquered the Luyana on the Zambezi floodplains and imposed their rule and language. However, by 1864 the indigenous population revolted and overthrew the Kololo. By that time, the Luyana language had been largely forgotten; the new hybrid language is called Lozi or Silozi and is closer to Sesotho than to any other neighbouring languages in Zambia.

Lozi is also spoken in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

, Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

, and Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 (Caprivi Region
Caprivi Region
Caprivi is one of the 13 regions of Namibia. It takes its name from the Caprivi Strip which in turn was named after Leo von Caprivi.-Geography:...

).

Vocabulary

Names of month
English Lozi
January Sope
February Yowa
March Liatamanyi
April Lungu
May Kandao
June Mbuwana
July Sikulu
August Muyana
September Muimunene
October Yenda
November Njimwana
December Ñulule

External links