1.  Classification / Classification

Kimbundu belongs to the Kimbundu Group of Bantu (Guthrie H21). Kimbundu should not be confused with Umbundu (Guthrie R10). (Webbook?)

Ethnologue? lists the classification as: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, H, Mbundu (H.20)

2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

It is spoken in the Angolan provinces of Luanda, Bengo, Malanje, and Cuauza-Norte. (Webbook)

3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

3,000,000 (1999 WA) (Ethnologue)

4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

According to Ethnologue:

  • Njinga (Ginga, Jinga)
  • Mbamba (Kimbamba, Bambeiro) (may be a separate language)
  • Mbaka (Ambaquista)
  • Ngola
  • Related to Songo, Sama, Bolo
  • Other related languages, dialects, ethnic, or alternate names:
    • Amboim (Mbuiyi)
    • Kibala (Quibala)
    • Lengue (Quilengue)
    • Ngage
    • Dembo of Cacuta Caenda
    • Ngengu
    • Bondo
    • Quembo
    • Mussende
    • Makamba (Macamba)

5.  Usage / Utilisation

Kimbundu is one of the national languages of Angola and is being used in literacy projects in that country. (Webbook)

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

A UNESCO sponsored literacy project in 1981-1982 has possibly helped to standardize an orthography. Tone is not marked in these literacy materials. (Webbook)

This is a Latin-based orthography.

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

A sample text is given on the "Language Museum" site at:

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

KITANGELU KYA NGONGO YA ITOKELU YA MUTHU (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

Not aware of any.

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue

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

7.6  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

10.  References / Références

Dwyer, David (1997), Webbook of African Languages, (page on "Kimbundu," )

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

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, "Kimbundu,"

______, "Kimbundu,"

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Categories: Languages, Angola