Oshiwambo is a Bantu language spoken in southern Angola and northern Nambia by about 1.5 million people (in 2006). The language is also known as Oshivambo or Ovambo. Major dialects include Kwanyama (OshiKwanyama) and Ndonga (Oshi­Ndonga). Kwanyama is spoken in northern Namibia and southern Angola, and Ndonga is spoken in northern Namibia.

Both major dialects have been used as the medium of instruction in schools since the 1990s. Oshiwambo is also used on the radio to some extent in Namibia.

Oshiwambo alphabet

Oshiwambo alphabet

Oshiwambo pronunciation

Oshiwambo pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Oshiwambo (Excel)

Information on Oshiwambo compiled by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text in Oshiwambo (Ndonga dialect)

Aantu ayehe oya valwa ye na emanguluko noye na ondilo yi thike pamwe osho wo uuthemba. Oye na omaipulo goondunge neiuvo onkene naa kalathane mombepo yuumwainathana.


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)

Sample videos in Oshiwambo


Information about the Oshiwambo language

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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