Chokwe - Ruund

1.  Classification / Classification

Chokwe (also spelled Cokwe) and Ruund are two distinct Bantu languages belonging to the Chokwe- Luchazi Group (Guthrie K10) and the Lunda Group (Guthrie L50) respectively. (Webbook?)

According to Ethnologue?:
Chokwe: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Chokwe-Luchazi (K.20)
Ruund: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Salampasu-Ndembo (K.30)

2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

Dem. Rep. of the Congo (DRC), Angola, Zambia

Hoover reports that "Ruund (uRuund) is spoken in DRC (Shaba, Kasai, and Bandundu regions) and Angola," where it is known as "Lundu" or sometimes as "Lunda of Mwant Yav" to distinguish it from (chi)Ndembu, a quite distinct language spoken in DRC and Zambia, where it is also known as "Lunda." ... (Webbook)

3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

Chokwe: 504,000 in DR Congo; 455,800 in Angola (1991); 44,200 in Zambia, (1986); Total=1,009,580 (Ethnologue)

Ruund: 152,845 in DR Congo (2000 WCD); 98,508 in Angola (2000 WCD); Total=152,845 (Ethnologue)

Total for both in all countries: 1,162,425

4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

Nash (personal communication, 1985) reports that, because of its recent expansion, Chokwe shows little dialect variation, and that while there is considerable dialect variation in Ruund, they are mutually intelligible. However, no formal dialect surveys are known to us as of this writing. UNESCO/UNDP is sponsoring a project to prepare literacy and other types of materials in Chokwe. (Webbook)

5.  Usage / Utilisation

Both Chokwe and Ruund are linguae francae. "Ruund is spoken in a wide band straddling the DRC/Angolan border" while "Chokwe is spoken in most of the areas where Ruund is spoken and also in much of northern Angola" (Nash, personal communication, 1985). While neither language has official government recognition, both were used in mission schools under colonial rule. (Webbook)

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

Uses a Latin-based orthography. No information on standardization

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

"Language Museum" samples (NB- these may not be standard or official orthographies):

7.  Use in ICT / Utilisation dans les TIC

7.1  Fonts / Polices

7.2  Keyboard layouts / Dispositions de clavier

7.3  Content on computers & internet / Contenu en informatique et sur l'Internet

ULUMBUNWISO WAKUTELA WA MUTHU MWESWE (Universal Declaration of Human Rights):

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

None known of.

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue


  • ISO 639-1: -
  • ISO 639-2: -
  • ISO 639-3: cjk


  • ISO 639-1: -
  • ISO 639-2: -
  • ISO 639-3: rnd

7.6  Locales / Paramètres régionaux

7.7  Other / Autre

8.  Localisation resources / Ressources pour localisation

8.1  Individuals (experts) / Individuelles (experts)

8.2  Institutions / Institutions

8.3  On the internet / Sur la toile

9.  Comments / Remarques

Presumably one localisation for Chokwe would be the immediate goal. Need more information on orthographies in countries where it is spoken.

10.  References / Références

Dwyer, David (1997), Webbook of African Languages, (page on "Chokwe/Ruund," )

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Chokwe,"

______, "Ruund,"

SIL International, "ISO 639 Code Tables,"

U.S. Library of Congress, "ISO 639.2: Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages: Alpha-3 codes arranged alphabetically by the English name of language,"

Wikipedia, "Chokwe language,"

______, "Ruund language,"

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Categories: Languages, CongoDemRep, Angola, NW Zambia