• Language: Ndebele
  • Alternate names: Nrebele, Ndzundza, Transvaal Ndebele, Southern Ndebele
  • Language code: nbl
  • Language family: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.30), Sotho, Northern
  • Number of speakers: 586961
  • Script: Latin script


The Southern Ndebele language (isiNdebele or Nrebele in Southern Ndebele) is an African language spoken by the amaNdebele (the Ndebele people of South Africa). There are two dialects of Southern Ndebele in South Africa:

There is also another, separate dialect called Northern Ndebele or Matebele spoken in Zimbabwe and Botswana - see Sindebele language. The Zimbabwean Ndebele is closer to Zulu than it is to the two South-African Ndebele languages.

Ndebele is mainly spoken in the provinces of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng, around the towns of Mokopane, Polokwane, Pretoria, Bronkhorstspruit, Middelburg, Witbank, Delmas, Standerton, Marble Hall, Groblersdal, Hendrina, Belfast and Bethal.

More information

Ndebele verb list