Learn Survival Tumbuka
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This Tumbuka phrasebook is not a language tutorial, comprehensive grammar or dictionary. Its goal is to define just enough of the language so that an English-speaking traveller can "get by" in areas where Tumbuka is spoken.
The Tumbuka language is a Bantu language which is spoken in parts of Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania.
The language of the Tumbuka people is called chiTumbuka - the 'chi' in front of Tumbuka meaning 'the language of', similar to 'ki' in kiSwahili or 'se' in seTswana.
The World Almanac (1998) estimates approximately 2,000,000 Tumbuka speakers exist in the aforementioned three countries.
There are substantial differences between the form of Tumbuka spoken in urban areas (which borrows some words from Chichewa/Nyanja) and the "village" or "deep" Tumbuka spoken in villages. The Rumphi variant is often regarded as the most "linguistically pure", and is sometimes called "real Tumbuka".