Northern Ndebele (Sindebele saseNyakatho)

Northern Ndebele a Bantu language spoken in South Africa, mainly in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces, and in some parts of North West province. It is part of the Tekela group of Bantu languages and has been influenced mainly by Swati, and to some extent by Northern Sotho. The Northern Ndebele spoken in Zimbabwe is a different language related to Zulu.

Northern Ndebele in South Africa is not officially recognised and is rarely written. A grammar book was published in 1959, and a dictionary is being produced.

Northern Ndebele alphabet and pronunciation

Northern Ndebele pronunciation

Sample texts

Jeso uLaela geMusebenti oMukxulu

  1. Iyanu bafundiswa lababalisumi nemuvomunye/balisuminnye bakha(m)bha baya eGalilee, entabeni leJeso ababute kuri bahla(n)gane kuyo/ababonisileko.
  2. Kebammonako, bamudumisa: kodwa babanye bagathe(m)bhi.
  3. Jeso ata asumela/asumayela nabo ari, Wokxe ma(n)dla anikelwe kumi elitulwini naseliphasine.
  4. Kha(m)bhanani ke, liyelifu(n)dise titjhaba tokxe, libabhabhadise gelibito/gelitinyo laBhabha, naleMuswa naleMmoya oMukhethwa:
  5. Libafu(n)dise kuri babhekelele tokxe leti dile laele gato: nakho bonani, nna nali getinago tokxe, nekufikela ebuphelweni beliphase. Amen.

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20)

  1. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
  2. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
  3. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
  4. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
  5. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


Badu/Banru bokxe babelethwe balugulukile bali(n)gana gesithiti nemalu(n)gelo. Baphiwe mukhu(m)bhulo nelivalo, jegalokhwa bafanele bababhane gekuvelana gemmoya webuhlobo bunye.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information provided by Dr Plaatjie Mahlobogoane

Sample videos in Northern Ndebele

Information about Northern Ndebele of South Africa | Phrases | Tower of Babel


Northern Ndebele dictionary

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, 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, Swahili, Swati, Tshiluba, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Xhosa, Yao, Zigula, Zinza, Zulu

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

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