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PanAfriL10n - PanAfrLoc - Kamba

Kamba - Kikamba

1.  Classification / Classification

Kamba belongs to the Central-Kenya Group of Bantu (Guthrie E55). (Webbook?)

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

2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

It is spoken in an area southwest of Nairobi, Kenya. (Webbook)

3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

According to Ethnologue:

  • 2,448,300 (1989 census).
  • 600,000 second-language speakers

4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

Heine (1980) states that Kamba is a four-dialect cluster. (Webbook)

According to Ethnologue the four dialects are:

  • Masaku
  • South Kitui
  • North Kitui
  • Mumoni

Lexical similarity 67% with Gikuyu, 66% with Embu, 63% with Chuka, 57% to 59% with Meru.

5.  Usage / Utilisation

Kamba is a major language in Kenya and is broadcast over the Voice of Kenya. (Webbook)

Literacy rate (according to Ethnologue, accessed 2007):

  • L1: below 1%
  • L2: 25% to 50%

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

The orthography status of Kamba is unknown as of this writing. (Webbook) [needs updating]

It is Latin-based, and from the samples in 6.2, below, apparently uses some diacritics.

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

Samples on the "Language museum" site:

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

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

None known of.

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue

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

7.6  Locales / Paramètres régionaux

Locale data was submitted for this language in March 2006, for OpenOffice and CLDR.


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

Would it be possible for a localisation strategy to treat Kamba and the several languages that are closely related as a group? (see #4 above)

10.  References / Références

Dwyer, David (1997), Webbook of African Languages, http://africa.isp.msu.edu/afrlang/hiermenu.html (page on "Kamba," http://africa.isp.msu.edu/afrlang/Kamba_root.html )

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Kamba," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/kam

SIL International, "ISO 639 Code Tables," http://www-01.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp

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," http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/English_list.php

Wikipedia, "Kamba language," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamba_language

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Categories: Languages, Kenya