Chivanhu and The Shona Alphabet

General Chivanhu and The Shona Alphabet

"Chivanhu" is a Shona word that has two meanings and these are:
  1. Tsika nemagariro epasichigare i.e. African traditional culture in the context of Zimbabwe.
  2. Mutauro weChiShona i.e. the formal Shona language itself spoken in Zimbabwe and abroad.
Note: Shona language consists of other dialects such as Zezuru, Karanga, Korekore, Manyika, and Ndau. The most spoken Shona dialect is Zezuru while the hardest to understand amongst them all is Ndau.


Example Usage #1:

Person 1 -- "Chivanhu chedu chinoyera asi chave kukanganikwa nevechidiki."
Person 2 -- "Vapfana vemazuvano vanobatira zvemhiri yemakungwa pamusoro."


Example Usage #2:

Person 1 -- "Kuchopa kwaarikuita chivheti adii asasa hake neChivanhu"
Person 2 -- "Uyo mdara agara anezvinomunetsa musiyeyi akadero."


Shona Language Alphabet:
  1. A
  2. B
  3. Bh
  4. Ch
  5. D
  6. Dh
  7. F
  8. G
  9. H
  10. I
  11. J
  12. K
  13. M
  14. N
  15. Nh
  16. O
  17. P
  18. R
  19. S
  20. Sh
  21. T
  22. U
  23. V
  24. Vh
  25. W
  26. Y
  27. Z
  28. ZH
The difference between the Shona and English alphabet is that in the formal Shona language you won't find the following Alphabet letters:
  • L
  • Q
  • X
However, in Zim slang, you may come across words that contain the letters L, X, Q and that's because Zim slang incorporates Shonglish/Chivanglish and Ndebele language of which the latter is also another major official language in Zimbabwe.
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Nolwazi Kwayedza
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