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Venda language facts for kids

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Tshivenda
Tshivenḓa
Native to South Africa, Zimbabwe
Region Limpopo Province
Native speakers 1.3 million  (2011 census)e18
1.7 million L2 speakers in South Africa (2002)
Language family
Niger–Congo
Writing system Latin (Venda alphabet)
Venda Braille
Official status
Official language in  South Africa
 Zimbabwe
Guthrie code S.20 (S.21)
Linguasphere 99-AUT-b incl. varieties
99-AUT-baa to 99-AUT-bad
South Africa Venda speakers proportion map.svg
Geographical distribution of Tshivenda in South Africa: proportion of the population that speaks Tshivenda at home.

     0–20%      20–40%

     40–60%

     60–80%

     80–100%
South Africa Venda speakers density map.svg
Geographical distribution of Tshivenda in South Africa: density of Tshivenda home-language speakers.

     <1 /km²      1–3 /km²      3–10 /km²      10–30 /km²

     30–100 /km²

     100–300 /km²      300–1000 /km²      1000–3000 /km²

     >3000 /km²

Venda, also called Tshivenḓa or Luvenḓa, is a Bantu language and an official language of South Africa. Most Venda speakers live in South Africa, but some speakers live in Zimbabwe. The Venda language is very similar to the Kalanga language, which is spoken in Botswana and Zimbabwe. During the Apartheid era of South Africa, Venda speakers lived in the bantustan of Venda.

Venda is a language in the Bantu branch of the Niger-Congo language family.

Venda is spoken by about 666,000 people in the northern part of South Africa's Limpopo Province. Around 84,000 people in Zimbabwe also speak the language.

Writing

The Venda language uses the Latin alphabet. It has five (5) extra accented letters. Four consonants have a circumflex below the letter (, , , ) and one consonant has an overdot ().

The Venda alphabet
A a B b D d Ḓ ḓ E e F f
G g H h I i K k L l Ḽ ḽ
M m N n Ṋ ṋ Ṅ ṅ O o P p
R r S s T t Ṱ ṱ U u V v
W w X x Y y Z z

The letters C, J, and Q are used when writing foreign words and names.

letter(s) value(s) in IPA notes
a [a]
b [b]
bv [b̪v]
bw [bɣw] or [bj] Varies by dialect
d [d]
dz [d͡z]
dzh [d͡ʒ] Like the English "j"
dzw [d͡zw]
[d̪]
e [ɛ], [e]
f [f]
fh [ɸ]
g [ɡ]
h [ɦ], [h] Pronounced h] before e.
hw [ɣw]
i [i]
k [kˀ]
kh [kʰ]
khw [kʰw]
l [ɭ]
[l̪]
m [m], [m̩] M is syllabic, [m̩], when the next syllable begins with m.
n [n], [n̩] N is syllabic, when the next syllable begins with n.
ng [ŋɡ]
ny [ɲ]
nz [nd͡z]
[n̪]
[ŋ]
ṅw [ŋw]
o [ɔ], [o]
p [pˀ]
ph [pʰ]
pf [p̪f]
pfh [p̪fʰ]
r [ɾ]
s [s]
sh [ʃ]
sw [ʂ]
t [tˀ]
th [tʰ]
ts [t͡s]
tsh [t͡ʃʰ]
tsw [t͡sw]
ty [c]
[t̪]
ṱh [t̪h]
u [u]
v [v]
vh [β]
w [w]
x [x] Like the ch in Scottish 'loch.'
y [j]
z [z]
zh [ʒ]
zw [ʐ]

Unicode

The extra letters have these Unicode names

  • U+1E12 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER D WITH CIRCUMFLEX BELOW
  • U+1E13 LATIN SMALL LETTER D WITH CIRCUMFLEX BELOW
  • U+1E3C LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L WITH CIRCUMFLEX BELOW
  • U+1E3D LATIN SMALL LETTER L WITH CIRCUMFLEX BELOW
  • U+1E44 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N WITH DOT ABOVE
  • U+1E45 LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH DOT ABOVE
  • U+1E4A LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N WITH CIRCUMFLEX BELOW
  • U+1E4B LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH CIRCUMFLEX BELOW
  • U+1E70 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T WITH CIRCUMFLEX BELOW
  • U+1E71 LATIN SMALL LETTER T WITH CIRCUMFLEX BELOW


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