Yao (chiYao)

Yao is a Bantu language spoken by about 3 million people in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique, and also in Zambia. The main dialect in Malawi, Mangoche, is spoken around Lake Malawi, particularly around the southeast tip of the lake. The main dialects in Mozambique are known as Makale and Massaninga, and most Yao speakers live in Niassa Province. The majority of speakers in Tanzania are found east of Lake Malawi in the Mtwara and Ruvuma Regions.

Yao is also known as chiYao, ciYao, Achawa, Adsawa, Adsoa, Ajawa, Ayawa, Ayo, Ayao, Djao, Haiao, Hiao, Hyao, Jao, Veiao or waJa.

Yao alphabet and pronunciation

This is the spelling system used in Malawi, which is based on Chichewa. The orthography used in Tanzania is based on Swahili.

Yao alphabet and pronunciation


Sample text in Yao

Wandu wosope akasapagwa ni ufulu ni uchimbichimbi wakulandana. Asapagwa ni lunda, niwakupakombola ganisya, m'yoyo kukusosekwa kuti mundu jwalijose am'woneje mundu jwimwe mpela mlongomjakwe.


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 about the Yao language

Bantu languages

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

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

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