There are two Ndebele languages in Africa. One is Northern Ndebele which is spoken primarily in Zimbabwe (and some parts of Botswana). The other is Southern Ndebele (isiNdebele), which is spoken primarily in South Africa. Interestingly, they are not part of the same language. Northern Ndebele is more closely related to Zulu (isiZulu) than it is to isiNdebele. Data from the 2011 census indicates that there are nearly 1.1 million Ndebele speakers in South Africa (2.1% of the population). According to Ethnologue.com, there are about 1.57 million Northern Ndebele speakers in Zimbabwe and Botswana. These numbers aren’t huge, however they are prevalent enough to earn this language a place in our portfolio.
We provide professional translations in Northern and Southern Ndebele, regardless of the dialect or local vernacular. Our professional team of translators will translate anything. We excel in highly complicated and technical business documents, to personal communication with the utmost respect and confidentiality.
We offer a comprehensive variety of translation solutions for all sorts of organisations, enterprises and personal projects or requirements. For example, we can translate a product instruction manual from English to Ndebele, or assorted marketing brochures from Ndebele into Zulu, or a speech for an absent friend from French into Ndebele. No project is too big or too small for our personal touch.
At ST Communications we provide a range of services to assist with Ndebele projects, these include:
Note that our translators have experience in certain specialised fields, including pharmaceuticals, mining, engineering, IT, marketing, petroleum and finance, so you can trust the veracity of the most jargon-heavy materials.
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Both Northern and isiNdebele are related to the Nguni vernaculars. Within South Africa, Ndebele is most common in the Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and Northwest provinces. IsiNdebele was in danger of dying out under the apartheid regime, but as one of South Africa’s 11 official languages, it attracts enough attention to keep it alive and kicking. Radio can be considered one of the language’s saviours, as a dedicated Ndebele radio station, Ikwekwezi FM, which was first broadcast in 1983, keeps native-speakers (and anyone learning to speak Ndebele) up-to-date with news and pop culture in their home language.
Famous Ndebele speakers include internationally acclaimed artist Esther Nikwambi Mahlangu, singer Peki Emelia “Nothembi” Mkhwebane, poet Albert Nyathi and ex-Zimbabwean cricketer and TV presenter Mpumelelo Mbangwa.