Definition of Tsonga in English:


Line breaks: Tsonga
Pronunciation: /ˈtsɒŋgə

noun (plural same or Tsongas)

  • 1A member of a people living in the Limpopo province of South Africa, southern Mozambique, and southern Zimbabwe. Also called Shangaan.
    More example sentences
    • Southern tribes include the Tsonga, the Karanga, the Chopi, the Shona, and the Nguni.
    • King Shaka sits proudly next to Chief Ngungunyani of the Tsonga and Moshoeshoe of Basotho - all gesturing towards the realisation of African Nationalism.
    • Only the Tsonga / Shangaan, however, have continued their beadwork traditions to the present day.
  • 2 [mass noun] The Bantu language of the Tsonga, which has about 3 million speakers.
    More example sentences
    • The leaflets have been published in seven of the eleven official language, namely: Afrikaans, Tsonga, Sesotho, Zulu, English, Venda and Xhosa.
    • In the north, the Bantu languages of Yao and Makua predominate; in the Zambezi Valley, it is Nyanja is the dominant languages; and in the south, Tsonga is spoken.
    • Until 1994, with AFRIKAANS, it was one of the two official languages; in that year, nine indigenous languages became official: Ndebele, Pedi, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.


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  • Relating to the Tsonga or their language.
    More example sentences
    • The piece is layered with narrative, some implied, others drawing from Tsonga mythology central to his discourse.
    • He said among the endangered cultures were the Tsonga culture of Tamba initiation, the Dry Stone Settlement and the Khoisan culture.
    • Khomanani is a Tsonga word meaning ‘caring for or supporting each other’.


a local name, from either Tsonga or Zulu.

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