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Herero language facts for kids

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Native to  Namibia
Region Kunene, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa in Namibia; Ghanzi in Botswana
Native speakers 237,000  (date missing)
Language family
 people  Ovaherero
 language  Otjiherero

The Herero language (Herero: Otjiherero) is a Bantu language of the Niger-Congo group. It is spoken by the Herero people in Namibia and Botswana. There are about 237,000 Herero speakers in both countries, 206,000 in Namibia and the rest in Botswana.

The language is spoken in an area called Hereroland. This area includes the regions of Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, and Kunene. The Himba people, who are related to the Herero people, speak a dialect that is very close to Herero. A large minority of people in Windhoek (the capital of Namibia) speak Herero.

The Herero language is written in the Latin alphabet. The first written work in Herero was a translation of the Bible by missionary Gottlieb Viehe (1839-1901). Father Peter Heinrich Brincker (1836-1904), another missionary, translated several religious works and songs into Herero.

Herero is taught in Namibian schools and at the University of Namibia. It is one of the six minority languages used in broadcasts by the Namibian State Radio (NBC). Gamsberg Macmillan, as of 2008, has published the only dictionary in Herero.

  • Brincker, Peter Heinrich (1886, 1964). Wörterbuch und kurzgefasste Grammatik des Otji-Herero. Leipzig (reprint 1964 Ridgwood, NJ: The Gregg Press).
  • Hahn, C. Hugo (1857). Grundzüge einer Grammatik des Hereró. Berlin: Verlag von Wilhelm Hertz.
  • Lutz, Marten (2006). "Locative inversion in Otjiherero: more on morpho-syntactic variation in Bantu." In: Laura Downing, Lutz Marten & Sabine Zerbian (eds.), Papers in Bantu Grammar, ZAS Papers in Linguistics 43, 97—122.
  • Marten, Lutz & Nancy C. Kula (2007). "Morphosyntactic co-variation in Bantu: two case studies." SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics 15.227-238.
  • Möhlig, Wilhelm, Lutz Marten & Jekura U. Kavari (2002). A Grammatical Sketch of Herero (Otjiherero). Köln: Köppe (Grammatische Analysen afrikanischer Sprachen; v.19).

  • Herero language at Ethnologue

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Idioma herero para niños

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