Bemba (Chibemba)

Bemba is a Bantu language spoken by about 3.8 million people, mainly in the northeast of Zambia, particularly in the Eastern, Luapula, Muchinga, Northern and Copperbelt provinces. There are also about 300,000 Bemba speakers in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, mainly in the east of Haut-Katanga province.

Bemba is a national (official) language in Zambia and is used as a lingua franca in many areas, particularly cities and in Copperbelt Province. It is taught in primary schools, and used in the media and literature.

Bemba is also known as Cibemba, Ichibemba, Icibemba or Chiwemba. Dialects include Chishinga, Lomotwa, Ngoma, Nwesi, Lala, Kabende, Luunda, Mukulu, Ng'umbo and Unga.

Bemba is written with the Latin alphabet. The spelling system was standardised between 1972 and 1977 by the Zambian Ministry of Education.

Bemba alphabet and pronunciation

Bemba  alphabet and pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Bemba (Excel)

Sample text

Abantu bonse bafyalwa abalubuka nokulingana mu mucinshi nensambu. Balikwata amano nokutontonkanya, eico bafwile ukulacita ifintu ku banabo mu mutima wa bwananyina.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample video in Bemba

Information about Bemba | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel

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Information about Bemba

Bemba phrases

Bantu languages

Basaa, Bemba, Bulu, Chichewa, Chokwe, Comorian, Digo, Duala, Ewondo, Fang, Ganda/Luganda, Gwere, Herero, Ikizu, Jita, Kiga, Kikuyu, Kimbundu, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Kisi, Kongo, Konjo, Lingala, Loma, Lozi, Luchazi, Makonde, Mandekan, Maore, Mende, Mushungulu, Mwani, Nkore, Northern Ndebele (South Africa), Northern Ndebele (Zimbabwe), Northern Sotho, Nyemba, Nyole, OshiWambo, Ronga, Sena, Shona, Soga, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Sukuma, Swahili, Swati, Tshiluba, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Xhosa, Yao, Zigula, Zinza, Zulu

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 26.04.21


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