Republic of the Congo Languages

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Description[edit | edit source]

The Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic or simply either Congo or the Congo, is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa. It should not be confused with the large neighboring country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [1] The official language is French with Kituba and Lingala as national languages.

  • French - Spoken by 30% of the Congolese population
  • Kituba or Munukutuba - A simplified Kikongo creole is used by 50.35% of the population who live in the south
  • Lingala - The river language that is spoken mainly in the north and east and has grown quickly in the past few years [2]

Word List(s)[edit | edit source]

French

Kituba or Munukutuba

Lingala

Alphabet and Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

French

Kituba or Munukutuba

Lingala

The Lingala language has 35 letters and digraphs. The digraphs each have a specific order in the alphabet; for example, mza will be expected to be ordered before mba, because the digraph mb follows the letter m. The letters r and h are rare but present in borrowed words. The accents indicate the tones as follows:

  • no accent for default tone, the low tone
  • acute accent for the high tone
  • circumflex for descending tone
  • caron for ascending tone
Variants Example
a A á â ǎ nyama, matáta, sâmbóle, libwǎ
b B bísó
c C ciluba
d D madɛ́su
e E é ê ě komeka, mésa, kobênga
ɛ Ɛ ɛ́ ɛ̂ ɛ̌ lɛlɔ́, lɛ́ki, tɛ̂
f F lifúta
g G kogánga
gb Gb gbagba
h H bohlu (bohrium)
i I í î ǐ wápi, zíko, tî, esǐ
k K kokoma
l L kolála
m M kokóma
mb Mb kolámba, mbwá, mbɛlí
mp Mp límpa
n N líno
nd Nd ndeko
ng Ng ndéngé
nk Nk nkámá
ns Ns nsɔ́mi
nt Nt ntaba
ny Ny nyama
nz Nz nzala
o o ó ô ǒ moto, sóngóló, sékô
ɔ Ɔ ɔ́ ɔ̂ ɔ̌ sɔsɔ, yɔ́, sɔ̂lɔ, tɔ̌
p P pɛnɛpɛnɛ
r R malaríya
s S kopésa
t T tatá
u U ú butú, koúma
v V kovánda
w W káwa
y Y koyéba
z Z kozala

Language Aids and Dictionaries[edit | edit source]

French

Kituba or Munukutuba

Lingala

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Republic of the Congo," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_the_Congo, accessed 8 April 2021.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Languages of the Republic of the Congo," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_Republic_of_the_Congo, accessed 8 April 2021.