Featured Languages

Russian

Russian is a member of the Indo-European language family. It has over 155 million speakers. Russian usually isn't written with the Roman alphabet. We use it here to represent the sounds so that the text is easy to follow when you hear the audio clip. Russian is written in the Cyrillic script.

Click here to read this text in Cyrillic.

Konechno, russkii yazyk odin iz samykh trudnykh yazykov. Amerikantsym kazhetsya inogda osobenno trudno izuchat' russkii yazyk, potomu chto oni ochen' plokho znayut ego grammatiku, no esli oni vyuchat ego bol'shenstvo amerikantsov, kotorye usvoili russkii yazyk - ego ochen' lyubyat i ya s nimi soglashayus', potomu chto odin iz samykh krasivikh yazykov v mire.

Of course, Russian is one of the most difficult languages. For Americans it sometimes seems especially difficult to learn Russian because they know its grammar very poorly, but if they learn it, most Americans who master Russian really love it, and I agree with them, because it is one of the most beautiful languages in the world.

Dr. Maria Lunk

Bemba


The Bemba language is spoken by approximately 6 million people in Zambia. It is also spoken in bordering areas of Tanzania and Congo (DRC). Bemba is one of the eight official languages of Zambia. Bemba is part of the Bantu language family, which consists of over 500 different languages spoken throughout Central, Eastern, Western, and Southern Africa. Other Bantu languages include Swahili, Zulu, Luganda, Shona, Sesotho, and Kongo. For more linguistic information about Bemba, click here. For Bemba language resources, click here.

Here is what Maidstone Mulenga has to say about his language. Click on the text to hear the audio. The English translation is below.

IciBemba. Bambi balanda ati Bemba. IciBemba e lulimi lyandi ulo nafyalwa nalo. Mung'anda ilyo nafyele, umo nafyalilwa mung'anda, bonse tulanda fye iciBemba. Nangu cakutila ku sukulu balisambilishe ukulanda icisungu, lelo lyonse twaleelanda iciBemba. IciBemba caliba icaanguka ukusambilila. Maybe pantu ndi muBemba, kuti nalanda ati calianguka. Lelo fye nangu fye bambi abashili abaBemba, balisambilila ukutila iciBemba calianguka. Pantu bengi kwena abalanda mucalo cesu. Mu Zambia mwine abalanda iciBemba balifula. Bambi balanda ukutila teti upende noku penda, minshipendwa, ico mu cisungu mulanda ati amamillions. . . Nshaishibapo icitundu cimbi nangu ululimi lumbi ulumfwika ukuwama ngefyo ciBemba ciumfwika. Pantu iciBemba cilomfwika bwino napa lulimi nga uleelanda. Awe, kwati uleelya icintu icisuma. . . Nalisambilila ifitundu ifingi lelo nshasangapo icitundu iciyumfwika bwino pa kulanda nge ciBemba. Namashiwi fye yayako yaliba ayaba distinct, ayomfwika fye ayawama saana. Kuti nafilwa no kulanda bwino. . . Nangu cakutila umuntu aishiba icitundu cimbi iciBemba calianguka. Ukutila kuti walanda ukuti ukucita adopt amashiwi aya mu malanguages yambi, no kuyasangula yaba kwati ciBemba. Yambi amashiwi balanda mu ciBemba yafumine mu fitundu fimbi lelo abaBemba bali yasangula kwati yabo. Elyo nangu fye babikamo icisungu, nangu iciLozi nangu iciTonga nangu imitundu imbi, tacumfwika kwati nabalufyanya iciBemba. Cumfwika fye kwati balundako fye. Kanshi iciBemba cilatwalilila ukuba icakama, icaba rich pantu cilatwalilila ukukula.

IciBemba. Others say Bemba. IciBemba is the language I was born with. In the home where I was born, everybody speaks iciBemba. Even though we were taught at school to speak English, we always spoke iciBemba. IciBemba is easy to learn. Maybe because I am a Bemba person I may say it is easy. However even those who are not Bemba people have learned that iciBemba is easy. Because there are many speakers (of iciBemba) in our country. There in Zambia, those who speak iciBemba are many. Some say it's impossible to count them, they are uncountable. In English you say millions. I don't know of another language or a tongue that sounds as good as iciBemba does. Because iciBemba sounds great even coming off the tongue as you speak. As if you are eating something tasty. I have learned several languages but I have not found a language that sounds as good as iciBemba. Its words are distinct, sounding really wonderful. It's difficult to explain accurately. Even if someone knows another language, iciBemba is easier. It's possible to adopt words from other languages and turn them into iciBemba. Some of the words spoken in iciBemba are from other languages but the Bemba speakers have made them their own. Even when they add in words from English, or Lozi or Tonga or any other language, it doesn't sound like they've made mistakes in iciBemba. It just sounds like they are adding to the language. So iciBemba continues to be rich, rich because it continues to grow.

Maidstone Mulenga

Samoan