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Fanagalo (Fanakalo)

Fanagalo is a Zulu-based Pidgin which emerged during the 19th century in KwaZulu-Natal. It also has some vocabulary from English, Afrikaans, and is spoken mainly among miners of gold, diamonds, coal and copper in South Africa, and also to a lesser extent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It is used as a lingua franca between people who come from various countries and who have no other common language, and has maybe several hundred thousand speakers.

The name Fanagalo means something like "do it like this", and this form of speech is also known as Pidgin Zulu, Fanakalo, Fanekolo, Isikula, Lololo or Isilololo, Piki or Isipiki, and Silunguboi. In Zimbabwe it is known as Chilapalapa and is influenced by Shona, and in Zambia it is called Cikabanga and has influences from Bemba.

Fanagalo pronunciation

Fanagalo pronunciation

Information about Fanagalo pronunciation compiled by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text in Fanagalo

Zonke nyoni pezulu yena khala kakhulu
Skat izwile yen' ifile inyoni Cocky Lobin
Skat izwile yen' ifile, skat izwile yen' ifile Cocky Lobin
Ubani bulalile Cocky Lobin? Mina kuluma lo sparrow
Indaba ka lo bow and arrow ka mina, mina bulalile Cocky Lobin.


All the birds above, they cry loudly/a lot
When they heard he was dead, the bird Cocky Lobin
When they heard he was dead, when they heard he was dead Cocky Lobin
Who killed Cocky Lobin? I said the sparrow
Because of the bow and arrow of mine, I killed Cocky Lobin

Sample text and translation provided by Philip Taylor


Information about Fanagalo

Pidgins and Creoles

Aukaans/Ndjuká, Bislama, Cape Verdean Creole, Chavacano, Chinook Jargon, Fanagalo, French Guianese Creole, Guadeloupean Creole, Haitian Creole, Jamaican, Kituba, Manado Malay, Mauritian Creole, Nagamese, Papiamento, Pijin, Réunion Creole, Sango, Saramaccan, Seychelles Creole, Sierra Leonean Creole, Sranan, Tok Pisin, Torres-Strait Creole

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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