FSI - Shona Basic Course

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Audios

Shona Basic Course - Unit 01

Shona Basic Course - Unit 02

Shona Basic Course - Unit 03

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Foreign Service Institute Shona  - Image The FSI Shona Basic Course is intended for general use by adult foreigners who want to learn Shona. Since however there exist several important varieties of the language, with clear standardization only in regard to orthography, it is strictly speaking impossible to write a course in 'Shona'. This book is based on the speech of two individuals, representing Manyika varieties of Shona, but with certain systematic emendations in the direction of the more central dialects.

Ample space has been left between the lines so that each user of the book may add further changes in accordance with the usage of his own teacher. The Shona dialogues and exercises were assembled during an intensive but brief period of collaboration in the summer of 1963. Further organization and editing were in the hands of the American member of the team, who assumes full responsibility for errors of fact, form, and organization.

Shona is one of the two principal languages of Zimbabwe (formerly known as Rhodesia), and extends also into adjacent areas of Mozambique. It consists of a number of dialects, but a standardized form of the language, based on the Zezuru, Manyika, and Korekore dialects, is generally used in printed materials. These dialects differ from one another in pronunciation (including tones) and in vocabulary, but they are in general agreement with respect to the underlying grammatical system.

One feature of this book is the attempt to represent simultaneously in the transcription several different pronunciations, in tone as well as in vowels and consonants. The present volume is one of a series of short Basic Courses in selected African languages, prepared by the Foreign Service Institute, under an agreement with the Office of Education, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, under provisions of the National Defense Education Act. It is intended to give the student a start in Shona, providing him with dialogues that relate to some of the situations in which he is likely to use the language, as well as with systematic practice on all major points of grammar. Emphasis is placed on leading the student to assume increasing amounts of responsibility and initiative as he progresses through the book.

Shona is a Bantu language, native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe and southern Zambia; the term is also used to identify peoples who speak one of the Shona language dialects: Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, Ndau and Korekore. (Some researchers include Kalanga: others recognise Kalanga as a distinct language in its own right.) Shona is a principal language of Zimbabwe, along with Ndebele and the official business language, English. Shona is spoken by a large percentage of the people in Zimbabwe.

Other countries that host Shona language speakers are Zambia and Botswana and Mozambique. Shona is the Bantu language most widely spoken as a native language. According to Ethnologue, Shona comprising the Karanga, Zezuru, and Korekore dialects, is spoken by about 10.8 million people. Manyika and Ndau dialects of Shona, listed separately by Ethnologue, and are spoken by 1,025,000 and 2,380,000 people, respectively. The total figure of Shona speakers is then about 14.2 million people.

Shona is spoken in: Zimbabwe

Shona is also called: Chishona, Swina, Zezuru

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