- Language: Lingala
- Alternate names: Ngala
- Language code: lin
- Language family: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Northwest, C, Bangi-Ntomba (C.40), Lusengo
- Number of speakers: 2139202
- Script: Latin script
Lingala is a Bantu language spoken throughout the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) and a large part of the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), as well as to some degree in Angola and the Central African Republic.
Lingala being a tonal language, tone is a distinguishing feature in minimal pairs, e.g.: moto (human being) and motó (head), or kokoma (to write) and kokóma (to arrive). There are two tones possible, the normal one is low and the second one is high.
The complete alphabet is as follows:
a b d e ɛ f g (h) i j k l m n o ɔ p s t u w y
The accents above vowels indicate the tones :
- no accent for default tone, the low tone
- acute accent for the high tone
- circumflex for descending tone
- caron for ascending tone
Verb tenses consist of a verb radical (R) with prefixes and suffixes. Dictionary lookup form is -R+a.
Sample verb: -sála
The numbers below refer to paragraph numbers in the reference cited below. vp indicates pronominal prefix.
- 107. Infinitive: -sála
- 109. Imperative: -sálá
- 113. Near past tense: vp+-sálí
- 115. Remote past tense: vp+-sálákí
- 117. Future tense: vp+-sála
- 118. Recurrent present: vp+-sálaka
- 119. Simple present: vp+-sála
- 126. Subjunctive: vp´+-sála
Conjugate other Lingala verbs
Click verbs to see the tenses above!
- -ángana deny,
- -bamba repair, mend, patch,
- -défa borrow,
- -fulisa multiply,
- -gboma bark,
- -íngela enter, go in,
- -juana meet,
- -kɛla stream, flow,
- -ɔnga beg,
- -sála do, make, work.
- Guthrie, Malcolm et Carrington, John F. Lingala Grammar and Dictionary. Baptist Missionary Society. Didcot, England, 1988.