Tembo (Kitembo / Chitembo)

Tembo is a Bantu language spoken by about 150,000 in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, mainly in the territories of Masisi and Walikale in Nord-Kivu (North Kivu) Province, and in Kalehe Territory in Sud-Kivu (South Kivu) Province. This area was known as the Kivu Region until 1986.

Tembo is also known as Kitembo or Chitembo. The people who speak it call themselves Batembo.

A way to write Tembo with the Latin alphabet was developed by Belgian missionaries in order to translate the Bible and other religious works into Tembo.

Tembo alphabet

Tembo alphabet

Download an alphabet chart for Tembo (Excel)

Sample text

Wàmúchìmá ná wàndéfú bábàá bàlúngú. Bánáláàná mbú bángáyà kúìngá mbùtó yàbù bàngéshà kúfá ná búsìnyà. Wàmúchìmá ánáìngá émìókò, ná múlyíkàbù wàndéfú ánáìngà émáróndò.


The heart and the beard they were neighbours. They agreed and said that they will go to plant seed so that they don't die of hunger. The heart he planted manioc and his friend the beard he planted corn.

Source: Tembo survey report by Gert de Wit and Alie de Wit-Hasselaar (1995)

Video in Tembo


Information about Tembo
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tembo_(langue) https://www.sil.org/resources/search/language/tbt

Bantu languages

Bangi, Basaa, Bemba, Bena, Bukusu, Bulu, Chichewa, Chokwe, Chuwabu, Comorian, Digo, Duala, Eton, Ewondo, Fang, Ganda/Luganda, Gogo, Gusii, Gwere, Haya, Herero, Ikizu, Jita, Kamba, Kiga, Kikuyu, Kimbundu, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Kisi, Kongo, Konjo, Koti, Kunda, Kuria, Lambya, Lingala, Loma, Lozi, Luchazi, Luvale, Makaa, Makonde, Makhuwa, Mandekan, Maore, Masaaba, Mbunda, Mende, Mushungulu, Mwani, Nande, Nkore, Northern Ndebele (South Africa), Northern Ndebele (Zimbabwe), Northern Sotho, Nyamwezi, Nyakyusa, Nyemba, Nyole, Nyungwe, Nzadi, Oroko, OshiWambo, Punu, Ronga, Sena, Shona, Soga, Songe, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Sukuma, Swahili, Swati, Tembo, Tonga, Tshiluba, Tsonga, Tswa, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Xhosa, Yao, Zigula, Zinza, Zulu

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page create: 19.09.23. Last modified: 19.09.23


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