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Tswa (Xitswa)

Tswa is Bantu language spoken by about 1.2 million people in Mozambique. It is closely related to Ronga and Tsonga, and is spoken mainly in rural parts of Inhambane Province in southern Mozambique.

Tswa is written with a version of the Latin alphabet based on the Tsonga orthography, which was developed by Portuguese colonists and Methodist missionaries. The Tswa version was consolidated by Rev. J. A. Persson of the Methodist Episcopal Mission in Portuguese East Africa, whose An English-Tswa Dictionary was published in 1928.

Tswa alphabet and pronunciation

Tswa alphabet and pronunciation

The letter q is used in some words borrowed from Zulu and is pronounced in various ways - the Zulu click sound for q, [ǃ], is not native to Tswa.

Download Tswa alphabet chart provided by Wolfram Siegel (Word doc, in German)


Information about the Tswa language

Bantu languages

Bemba, Chichewa, Comorian, Duala, Ewondo, Ganda/Luganda, Herero, Ikizu, Jita, Kikuyu, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Kongo, Lingala, Loma, Lozi, Makonde, Mandekan, Maore, Mende, Mushungulu, Nkore, Northern Ndebele (South Africa), Northern Ndebele (Zimbabwe), Northern Sotho, OshiWambo, Ronga, Sena, Shona, Soga, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Swahili, Swati, Tofa, Tshiluba, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Xhosa, Yao, Zigula, Zinza, Zulu

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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