Sena (Cisena)

Sena is a Bantu language spoken by 1.6 million people in Mozambique and Malawi. In Mozambique it is spoken in the provinces of Tete, Sofala, Zambezia and Manica in the Zambezi valley in the centre of the country.

There are number of dialects of Sena, including Nyungwe, Chikunda and Sena in Zimbabwe, and Mag'anja in Malawi, which some consider a separate language. The Barwe dialect (Chibarwe) has official recognition in Zimbabwe.

Sena alphabet and pronunciation

Sena alphabet and pronunciation


An apostrophe after m or n (m’, n’) indicates that they are pronounced as separate syllables, e.g. n’khondo [ŋ̍kʰɔndɔ], nkhondo [ŋkʰɔndɔ], m’bale [m̩balɛ], mbale [mbalɛ]


Details of the Sena alphabet and pronunciation provided by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample text (Cithakano m’cisena)

Pyacitika siku ibodzi, ndzizi wa njala, baba wa panyumba, akakhala na nsambo wa kukwata uci ncitomba mbafikira pakhukhu. Ndzizi onsene akava njala, akapanga anace kuti ndirikwenda kasuta dotha pakhukhu. Na tenepo, angafika akakwata ntete mbanfeka pansi padabisee uci, mbakakwewa nawo uci ule, na mulomo, ninga asadyadi dotha. Anace akapyona pyonsene pikacita babao.

Translation (A Story in Sena)

Once upon a time, in the time of famine, a father who had the bad habit of burying in a landfill, in secret, a small jar full of honey clay. Whenever he was hungry, he told his children he was going to suck trash gray. So when there came, he prodded the hose he had brought with him, in the place where the honey had hidden, and with it, pulled it as if it really was eating gray. The children saw all this and when the woman discovered, separated from her husband.



Information about the Sena 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

Page last modified: 23.04.21

Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:


If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Learn a nuevo language while you browse with toucan

Note: all links on this site to, and are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.