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Chichewa / Chewa Resources

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06 May 2020 at 2:05am | IP Logged 
During the period from February 2020 through May 2020, I conducted a complete revision to the twenty-eight (28) lists of resources which I had posted on the LLORG during the previous three-year period. As revising these types of documents directly on the LLORG in the “Edit Mode” is fraught with difficulties, I removed their contents from the LLORG, stored them on my computer, and completed the revisions. During the revision process an event occurred which prevented me from reposting the contents to their original files and, as a contingency measure, I have posted them here on the HTLAL in the anticipation that either the Administrator or the Moderators of the LLORG will copy/paste them to the LLORG. - Speakeasy


Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics, and including several countries. The term southern Africa or Southern Africa, generally includes Angola, Botswana, Eswatini (also known as Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, though Angola may be included in Central Africa and Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe in East Africa. The demographics of, and the languages spoken in, the region are numerous and varied. For details, please refer to the linked List of ethnic groups of Africa.

Southeast Africa
Southeast Africa or Southeastern Africa is an African region that is intermediate between East Africa and Southern Africa. It comprises the countries Botswana, Burundi, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the mainland, with the island-nation of Madagascar also included. The demographics of, and the languages spoken in, the region are numerous and varied. For details, please refer to the linked List of ethnic groups of Africa.

Chichewa / Chewa / Chinyanja / Nyanja Language
Chewa (also known as Nyanja) is a Bantu language spoken in much of Southern, Southeast and East Africa, namely the countries of Malawi and Zimbabwe, where it is an official language, and Mozambique and Zambia where it is a recognised minority language. The noun class prefix chi- is used for languages, so the language is usually called Chichewa and Chinyanja (spelled Cinianja in Mozambique). In Malawi, the name was officially changed from Chinyanja to Chichewa in 1968 at the insistence of President Hastings Kamuzu Banda (himself of the Chewa people), and this is still the name most commonly used in Malawi today. In Zambia, the language is generally known as Nyanja or Cinyanja/Chinyanja '(language) of the lake' (referring to Lake Malawi). Chewa belongs to the same language group (Guthrie Zone N) as Tumbuka, Sena and Nsenga. – Source: Wikipedia

It is quite understandable that students should want the very latest, up-to-date materials for study purposes. Nevertheless, I recommend that serious students of Chichewa consult the “legacy” materials listed below and that they consider incorporating some of these into their studies.

Chichewa / Chewa Courses, Supplements, etc.

Chichewa Intensive Course (1969), circa 100 pages; by Salaun; Likuni Press
Most likely a language guide. Copies are now quite rare. Included here in the anticipation that a student/teacher of Chichewa might recognize it and comment.

Elementary Chichewa (1960’s), by Enoch Mvula
Elementary Chichewa: AUDIO Recordings – Indiana University CeLT
Elementary Chichewa: AUDIO Recordings – Lingvist
Out-of-print. Have not located course manual. Approx. 1 hour of AUDIO recordings hosted on Indiana University CeLT and Lingvist websites. Might be useful to a student.
FSI Chinyanja Basic (1965); 365 pages, by Earl W. Stevick et al
FSI Chinyanja Basic is NOT an audio-lingual method course. Set of dialogues developed from impromptu conversations recorded by two of the Malawian authors. Dialogues glossed in English; explanatory notes, exercises. Approx. 12 hours of AUDIO recordings. Indiana University CeLT Recorded Sound Archives website also hosts the audio.

Simply Chicheŵa : a Simple yet Comprehensive Approach to Learning and Mastering the Chicheŵa language (1988); 159 pages; by by C. G Hullquist- Malamulo Publishing House
Out-of-print, in limited supply, and now very expensive. Listed for historical purposes only.

U.S. Peace Corps Chewa-Chinyanja (1980); 1,252 pages total; Carol Myers Scotton, Gregory John Orr
U.S. Peace Corps Chewa-Chinyanja – Yojik website
U.S. Peace Corps Chewa-Chinyanja – Indiana University CeLT website
Comprehensive introductory course. Emphasis on spoken language (dialogs, monologs, narratives, proverbs, riddles), supported by notes and exercises. Two course books, teacher’s manual, and 13 AUDIO cassettes. AUDIO recordings also hosted on Indiana University CeLT website (may, or may not, be more complete than those on Yojik website).


Chichewa / Chewa Courses, Supplements, etc.

Chichewa for English Speakers (2011), 230 pages, by Nathaniel Maxson; Independently Published
Chichewa for English Speakers - website
Amazon “Look Inside” feature reveals basic introduction. CEFR A1. NOTE: author maintains a website in support of this course. Customer reviews quite positive.
Let's Speak ChiChewa (Tiyankhule ChiChewa) (2011); xxx pages; by David Sani Mwanza, Alick Kadango Bwanali; Indiana University
Let's Speak ChiChewa (Tiyankhule ChiChewa)
Communicative approach. For classroom use. One AUDIO CD available for separate purchase. Probably CEFR A2.   

Parlons chichewa : Langue et culture du Malawi (2003), 168 pages, by Pascal J. Kishindo, Allan L. Lipenga; Editions L'Harmattan
Available in FRENCH only. Seems more a description of the language and culture than a course in speaking Chichewa .

Chichewa / Chewa Phrasebooks, Language Guides, etc.
This list is not exhaustive, it is a sample of the phrasebooks, language guides, and short courses available for this language.

32 Chichewa Phrases and Conversations (2017), 104 pages, by Karen T Roller; Independent Published

Chichewa 101 (2012), 258 pages, by Heather Katsonga-Woodward; Independently Published
Chichewa 101 - website   
Amazon “Look Inside” feature reveals a VERY BASIC introduction to the language. CEFR A0. NOTE: The author maintains her own website (see link above).

Chewa-English / English-Chewa Dictionary and Phrasebook (2020), 256 pages, by Mervis Kamanga; Hippocrene Books

Chichewa Language: The Chichewa Phrasebook and Dictionary (2016), 114 pages, by Dalitso Cheelo; Independent Published

Chichewa Lessons Simplified (2018), 145 pages. by Merriam Chinseu; Independently Published
Amazon “Look Inside” feature does not provide much information. Most likely a phrasebook.

Kauderwelsch Chichewa, by Susanne Jordan et al.; Reise Know-How Verlag
Kauderwelsch-Sprachführer Chichewa: Wort-für-Wort, 192 pages
Kauderwelsch-AusspracheTrainer Chichewa: AUDIO Recordings
Available in German only. Phrasebook and AUDIO recordings (extracts only). Sold separately.

Let's Learn Chichewa (Tiphunzire Chichewa) (1990), 123 pages, by E.J. Chadza; Christian Literature Association in Malawi
Possibly out-of-print. Most likely a phrasebook.

Chichewa for English Speakers (2011), 228 pages, by Nathaniel Maxson; Lulu

Chichewa / Chewa Grammars, etc.

Modern Chewa Verbs: Master the basic tenses of Chewa (2019), 128 pages, by kasahorow; Independently published

Phonology of Chichewa (2017), 208 pages, by Laura J. Downing et al.; Oxford University Press

Syntax of Chichewa (2004), 166 pages, by Sam Mchombo; Cambridge University Press

Chichewa / Chewa Dictionaries, etc.

Dictionary - Mtanthauziramawu: Chichewa / Chinyanja - English // English - Chichewa / Chinyanja (2012), 886 pages, by Steven Paas; VTR Publications

Learner's Chichewa and English Dictionary: Chichewa-English & English-Chichewa (1995), 90 pages, by Robert Bothe et al.; Rüdiger Köppe

Oxford Chichewa-English/English-Chichewa Dictionary (1997), circa 800 pages, by Steven Paas; Oxford University Press

Oxford Chichewa Dictionary Project

Chichewa / Chewa Readers, Literature, etc.

Children’s Chichewa Readers (Series: Tiphunzire Kuwerenga) (circa 2014), by Karen Roller, Melissa Beckley, et al.
A series of short readers to assist children learn Chichewa.
Volume 1: Ana Akusewera: Children Play
Volume 2: Muli Bwanji, Sera?: How Are You, Sera?
Volume 3: ???
Volume 4: Ndaona Nyama Zambiri: I See Many Animals
Volume 5: Patricia ndi Nachisale: Patricia and Nachisale
Chichewa / Chewa Miscellany

Indiana University: Chichewa
The Indiana University offers a wide variety of programmes covering African languages, including Chichewa. Website hosts resources supporting these programmes.

Michigan State University: Chichewa
The Michigan State University Center for African Studies offers a wide variety of programmes covering African languages, including Chichewa. Website hosts resources supporting these programmes.

My Language Exchange - Chichewa (Nyanja)
The "My Language Exchange - Chichewa (Nyanja)" website would appear to be a "study group" or "chatline" for students of this language.

University of Pennsylvania: Chichewa
The University of Pennsylvania offers a wide variety of programmes covering African languages, including Chichewa. Website hosts resources supporting these programmes.

Please feel at liberty to post your own recommendations and/or comments and I’ll see what I can do about incorporating them into the lists above.

Visitors to this file are encouraged to review the subsequent comments, posted below, as they include members’ suggestions concerning materials and forms a running commentary on resources for the study of this language.

Completely revised: April 2020

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