Zambia

Understand

Zambia offers travelers some of the world’s best safari opportunities, a glimpse into “real Africa,” and Victoria Falls, one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Talk

Thanks to its former colonial status, English is one of Zambia’s eight official languages and the language most often spoken in schools, on the radio, in government offices, etc. However, there are over 70 different Bantu languages spoken throughout the country, the most important of which are Bemba, spoken in Lusaka, the Copperbelt and the north, and Nyanja (Chewa), spoken in the east as well as in Lusaka and Livingstone.

Many urban Zambians will speak at least passable English. As you move into the rural areas, though, expect communication to become more difficult. Nevertheless, do not be surprised to find a rural Zambian who speaks flawless English.

The most important thing to remember when speaking to Zambians is to greet them. When you first approach a Zambian, always begin by asking, “How are you?” (“Muli Bwanji?” is the most recognized form, or “Muli Shani?”) even if you do not care. They will consider you very respectful.

Afrikaans usage is on a slow but steady rise, mainly because of immigration from South Africa and the ease of learning the language. (source: Wikitravel)

 

 

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