Africa is characterized by a large degree of linguistic diversity, although many indigenous African languages hail from the same expansive family—Niger–Congo. Niger–Congo languages stretch all across West Africa, including languages like Wolof, Mandinka, Yoruba, and Igbo, and all the way down to the southernmost tip of South Africa, encompassing well-known tongues like Swahili, Zulu, and Xhosa. Other than English and Afrikaans, all of South Africa’s official languages come from the Niger–Congo family (specifically the Bantu branch), and that includes Ndebele.
Ndebele is a widely spoken Bantu language in parts of South Africa and Zimbabwe, although it’s not the main language in either country. Northern Ndebele, spoken in Zimbabwe, is used by between 13% to 20% of the Zimbabwean population and is the most spoken indigenous language in the country, coming in second to Shona. Southern Ndebele is spoken in South Africa and constitutes the least-spoken official South African language, accounting for just 2.1% of the population (which nonetheless results in 2.5 million speakers). Since translation services for Ndebele are rare, we at TranslationServices.com have decided to create our own Ndebele translation team.
Why not reach out today and request a quote for Ndebele translation services? Quotes are free, after all.
Ndebele is an important language in southern Africa.
Although some speakers of Northern Ndebele can be found in Botswana, Ndebele is mostly split between Zimbabwe and South Africa. Altogether, the language boasts about 3.6 million native speakers, rising to 5 million when non-native speakers are counted. Northern and Southern Ndebele both account for 2.5 million of these speakers, although only 1.1 million people are native speakers of Southern Ndebele. The languages are generally mutually intelligible, even though Southern Ndebele has strayed from its Nguni roots and undergone significant Sotho influence.
Both Ndebele languages feature a large number of noun classes with distinct prefixes, as this is the most defining aspect of Bantu languages. Each class has its own plural prefix(es), and any adjectives, demonstratives, and verbs that modify a given noun must also take the respective prefix to indicate agreement. Ndebele verbs undergo considerable inflection, taking markers for both subject and object as well as a range of tense, aspect, and mood markers. The two Ndebele variants may differ in grammar in certain areas, with Northern Ndebele using structures more similar to Zulu and Southern Ndebele adopting constructions more similar to Sotho.
Whether Northern or Southern Ndebele, we’re here to offer the best Ndebele translations possible.
We’ve sourced the most skilled translators from across the Ndebele-speaking world, and yes, that includes both Northern Ndebele and Southern Ndebele. Our translators, who call South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana home, can translate both to and from Ndebele, drawing on their extensive experience to translate a variety of document types. For example, if you’re a business, we can translate your documents into Ndebele to help you connect with the local clientele—or we can translate your materials from Ndebele to help you expand into the international market. If you’re an author or creative, we can translate your books or poems from Ndebele so you can earn worldwide recognition—or we can translate your books, poetry, websites, apps, games, or other media into Ndebele to open up a whole new audience and bring more great literature and entertainment to the people of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
There’s no time like the present to get started with Ndebele translation services. Simply reach out in a message to start the discussion!