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8 Best ways to Learn Shona or Ndebele
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8 Best ways to Learn Shona or Ndebele

by Chiedza Mutsaka SkyumMay 8, 2016

There are many advantages to living abroad including exposure to a different way of life, diversity of people and ideologies. One downside that many parents raising second generation migrants abroad is language. The same applies to many who move abroad and marry abroad. How do you teach your partner your language?

Today’s super technological world has brought us solutions to our language woes as Zimbabweans in the diaspora. This article will summarize the 12 methods that we think are the best ways to learn Shona* if you cannot be immersed in it.

  1. Chii? Shona Language AppChii app

    Paid/Free: Paid
    Android & iPhone
    Described as an interactive and colourfully illustrative word learning and reading app Chii? app is at the top of our list, A reasonably new app (released 2015) designed for children anywhere in the world but also highly effective for adult beginners. With the Chii? App, you can name and identify every objects and master general speech and basic conversational sentences
    If you enjoy the app you can also buy the Chii? Games app that coincides with the Chii? Language App.

    You can watch the Chii? App video for more information.

  2. Shona Ndebele Tutor

    Paid/Free: Paid
    Private tutors for you in the comfort of your own home. It cannot get better than that. An array of teachers can communicate with you digital classroom style via skype/video feed with a digital whiteboard. The promise flexibility and results. On his website, founder of Shona Ndebele Tutor Taku Mutepfa says that he wants to promote Shona and Ndebele to non-Zimbabweans in the diaspora and unite Zimbabweans through giving teachers in rural areas like Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe ,Wedza , Tshlotsho and Gwanda district an opportunity to teach children and adults in Bristol, Leeds, London, Paris, Toronto, Dallas, Wellington and New York etc. What a great initiative!

  3. ZimbrLingua

    Paid/Free: Paid
    A bright and interactive app that covers BOTH Shona and Ndebele basics – ZimbrLingua is perfect for travellers, young learners or adult beginners. It allows for multiple members of the family to create user profiles and tracjk their individual progress. You can save your favourite worlds or phrases. Each language is categorised into three levels with the option of in-app purchases for more access to more detailed and higher level lessons.

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  4. Learn Ndebele

    Paid/Free: Free Youtube channel
    An array of language lesson videos, including reading of children’s books and pronunciation lessons for the challenging Q,Qh and Gq ‘click sounds’. Very detailed, very clear teaching methods used.ndebele q

  5. Learning Shona with Tulanitulani

    Paid/Free: Free Youtube channel
    Charismatic and entertaining Tulani takes us through six beginners lessons on YouTube. We wish there were more lessons. Tulani where are you?

  6. uTalk Shona

    Paid/Free: Paid App
    Android & iPhone Part of the uTalk language group this app is a very simple app that takes the learner through the basics, including a fun test for each category. Find it for sale in your Android or Apple appstore.

  7. Ndebele Audio Phrasebook

    Paid/Free: Free
    Android & iPhone App
    Simple survival kit Ndebele from Hello South Africa that you can carry around with you wherever you go. Find it in your appstore.

  8. Shona Grammar Lessons

    Detailed grammatical lessons explaining the sentence structures for thos that have the time to dig deeper into their shona theory and perfect their pronunciation and grammar.

Please feel free to include other sources for learning Shona and Ndelebe (with links/contact details) in the comments section and we will be sure to research them and add them to this list.

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About The Author
Chiedza Mutsaka Skyum
Zimbabwean in Bangkok, Thailand Founder of Zimbassador PhD Candidate in Multicultural Studies Lecturer at Stenden University Thailand
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