Herero (Otjiherero)

Herero is a Bantu language with around 250,000 speakers in parts of Namibia, Bostwana and Angola, specifically in the Kunene, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions in Namibia; in the Ghanzi district in Botswana; and in the Namibe, Huíla and Cunene provinces in Angola. It is closely related to Himba and Tjimba.

Herero was first written, using the Latin alphabet, at the end of the 19th century by the missionary Gottlieb Viehe, who translated the Bible into Herero. Since the 1960s efforts have been made to standardise the spelling of Herero.

Herero is taught in schools in Namibia as a language of instruction and as a subject. It is taught at the University of Namibia and used on Namibian State Radio (NBC).

Herero alphabet (oalfabeta) and pronunciation

Herero alphabet and pronunciation

Information compiled by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text

Korutenga Ndjambi wa memene eyuru nehi. Nehi kara ri nomuhapo, nu ra ri tjo. Nu kwa ri onḓorera mourekoto, nOmbepo yaNdjambi ya tengerere kombanda yomeva.


In the beginning God created heaven and earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The spirit of God was hovering over the water.


Sample videos in Herero

Information about Herero | Phrases | Numbers


Information about the Herero language

Information about the Herero people

Herero phrases nine common expressions/otjiherero_page9.pdf

Bantu languages

Basaa, Bemba, Bulu, Chichewa, Chokwe, Comorian, Digo, Duala, Ewondo, Fang, Ganda/Luganda, Gwere, Herero, Ikizu, Jita, Kiga, Kikuyu, Kimbundu, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Kisi, Kongo, Konjo, Lambya, Lingala, Loma, Lozi, Luchazi, Makonde, Mandekan, Maore, Mende, Mushungulu, Mwani, Nkore, Northern Ndebele (South Africa), Northern Ndebele (Zimbabwe), Northern Sotho, Nyemba, Nyole, OshiWambo, Ronga, Sena, Shona, Soga, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Sukuma, Swahili, Swati, Tshiluba, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Xhosa, Yao, Zigula, Zinza, Zulu

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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