Herero language
The Herero language is a language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 of the Bantu
Bantu languages
The Bantu languages constitute a traditional sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages. There are about 250 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility, though the distinction between language and dialect is often unclear, and Ethnologue counts 535 languages...

 family (Niger–Congo
Niger–Congo languages
The Niger–Congo languages constitute one of the world's major language families, and Africa's largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. They may constitute the world's largest language family in terms of distinct languages, although this question...

 group). It is spoken by the Herero people in Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 (206,000) and Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

. The total number of speakers in both countries is approximately 237,000.

Its linguistic distribution covers a zone called Hereroland: this zone is constituted of the region of Omaheke
Omaheke is one of the thirteen regions of Namibia. Omaheke lies on the eastern border of Namibia and is the Western extension of the Kalahari desert. The name Omaheke is the Herero word for Sandveld. A large part of this region is known as the Sandveld...

, along with the regions of Otjozondjupa
Otjozondjupa region is one of the thirteen regions of Namibia. An outstanding landmark within this region is the Waterberg Plateau Park. Administration offices are based in Otjiwarongo which is the largest town in the region....

 and Kunene
Kunene may refer to:*Kunene Region, in Namibia*Kunene River, in Angola and Namibia*Kenny Kunene, a South African Businessman*Mazisi Kunene, a South African poet and historian...

. The Himba
The Himba are an ethnic group of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region . Recently they have built two villages in Kamanjab which have become tourist destinations...

, who are related to the Herero people, speak a dialect very close to the Herero language. In Windhoek
Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Namibia. It is located in central Namibia in the Khomas Highland plateau area, at around above sea level. The 2001 census determined Windhoek's population was 233,529...

, the capital of Namibia, there exists a considerable minority of hererophones.

Because of missionary Gottlieb Viehe's (1839–1901) translation of the Bible into Herero at the end of the 19th century, the spoken language was transcribed to a script based on the Latin alphabet. Father Peter Heinrich Brincker (1836–1904) translated several theological works and songs.

Herero is taught in Namibian schools both as a native tongue and as a secondary language, and is to be included as a principal material at the University of Namibia. Herero is also one of the six minority languages that are used by the Namibian State Radio (NBC). Gamsberg Macmillan, , has published the only dictionary in Herero.

The Hakaona
Hakaona language
Hakaona is a Bantu language of Angola and Namibia. Until perhaps Anita Pfouts , it was considered a dialect of Herero....

 "dialect" is now considered a separate language, as sometimes is Zemba
Zemba language
Zemba is a Bantu language spoken mainly in Angola where the language has about 18,000 speakers, and also in Namibia with some 4,000. It is closely related to Herero, and is often considered a dialect of that language, especially as the Zemba are ethnically Herero.There are various spellings and...


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