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Bemba Lesson 3

Last updated on February 24, 2012

Spread the word, there’s a new source for learning Bemba online! The Bemba language, ChiBemba (also spelled Cibemba, Ichibemba, Icibemba and Chiwemba), is a major Bantu language spoken primarily in north-eastern Zambia by the Bemba people and as a lingua franca by about 18 related ethnic groups, including the Bisa people of Mpika and Lake Bangweulu, and to a lesser extent in Katanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Botswana. According to Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, including all its dialects, Bemba is the most spoken indigenous language in Zambia.

Thanks to   and his work on Kitwe Online, a series of Bemba lessons is now available for you online. Bemba Lesson 3 explains how to count in Bemba.

[quote]If you were to stop someone on the streets of Kitwe and asked them what “Umwanda umo na cimo” means, chances are that not one in ten will be able to tell you. Everyone practically uses the English terms for counting, especially in the urban areas. Thousands of Kwacha are spent in the course of groceries shopping and people are perfectly comfortable talking about “millions”, “thousands” and “hundreds” of Kwacha. The Bemba words for low counts between 1 and 5 are adjectives. Therefore the prefix determines which choice of word you use.[/quote]

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