Countries that speak isiZulu and the origin of the language.

There is a number of countries that speak isiZulu language. This language, that is commonly shortened for Zulu is a Bantu language that is spoken mainly in South Africa, especially in KwaZulu-Natal. It is one of the 11 official languages in South Africa and the most commonly spoken language across the country. isiZulu language is a member of the Nguni group, which are namely isiXhosa, isiNdebele, and isiSwati. The most peculiar features of this language are the use of click consonants, use of tone, and the adequate use of idioms and proverbs. Although this indigenous language speaking communities originate in the east coast of the country, the language can be heard in Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces as well.

Countries that speak isiZulu.

South Africa

This is the southernmost country in the continent of Africa. South Africa is found to be among the countries that speak isiZulu. Among the country’s official languages, there is black African diverse population that consists of four linguistic categories. The largest of them being the Nguni group, which forms more than half of the population. The second largest group being Sotho-Tswana which consist of the Sesotho, Setswana and Sepedi population. Then the other two linguistic groups are the Tsonga and the Venda speaking people.




Mozambique is known for being a multilingual state that is rich with indigenous languages that are spoken, along with Portuguese. Mozambique is found to be among the countries that speak isiZulu. There are 43 languages that are used across Mozambique. Over 50% of the Mozambican population speaks Portuguese, and among other various Mozambican native languages, we find isiZulu. The overwhelming indigenous languages that are spoken in this country are recognised as Bantu languages.




Malawi is a highly diverse country, with numerous languages and isiZulu adding colour to the language diversity. The landlocked country is found in the South-eastern part of the African continent. Malawi is found to be among the countries that speak isiZulu. The diversity of this country is evident from the many languages spoken in the country. Malawi’s official language is English, Chichewa is the national language, then there’s Yao, Tumbuka, and amongst the languages that have few speakers are isiZulu, Malawian Lomwe, Nyakyusa-Ngonde, Sena, Tonga, Lambya, Kokola, Nyika, Nyiha, Ndali, and Kacchi.




Swaziland has two official languages namely, English and isiSwati. However, the residents of this country speaks a number of minority countries, which include, isiZulu, Afrikaans and Tsonga. Swaziland is found to be among the countries that speak isiZulu. With isiZulu being the most spoken language among the minority languages, with approximately 76 000 individuals.




Lesotho has two official languages, which is English and Sesotho. This country has three minority languages, namely isiZulu, isiXhosa and Phuti. With isiZulu being the second most spoken minority language with approximately 284 000 speakers, led by isiXhosa with approximately 600 000 language speakers, then Phuti with approximately 20 000 throughout the country.



Words borrowed from isiZulu.

The English language has borrowed some of the Zulu words, which are widely used in its vocabulary. People call animals such as mamba and impala in when speaking English, not knowing where the words originate from.

Other words that were derived from isiZulu, are:

  • Indaba which refers to a conference,
  • Muti which refers to medicine,
  • Lobola which can be referred to as a marriage settlement and
  • Ubuntu, which refers to humanity

The distinctive growth of the language.

isiZulu language has become more of a significant language in the Southern African region with the rise of the nation on the international economic space. The evidence of this is seen through the language’s dominance in the media industry. It has predominantly grown its significance in both the government and the business world as large as the economy of the country and it continues to grow. With the country’s culture diversity and industries, it has become a leading region in the continent in terms of international trade and influence.

isiZulu translation specialties.

The isiZulu people have become quite dominant, even in the business world. With that being said, there has been a high rise of localising their business services. It goes without saying that, localisation of services requires translation, hence the high demand of isiZulu translation. Our isiZulu translators are native speakers who translate documents, videos, and business, legal and medical meetings from isiZulu with ability to handle every technical level. The  services we offer comprise of professional linguists who originate from the places where isiZulu is native and the world at large.


For further information about isiZulu Language Translation Services please give us a call at +27(0)12-348-3134or email us at we will be more than happy to talk to you about your South African languages needs, or to answer any questions you may have.



Which countries speak the Zulu language?
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Which countries speak the Zulu language?
This article gives a brief history of the origin of the isiZulu language, its dialects and the countries that speak this language either widely or as a language of few speakers.
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isiZulu Translation
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