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Xitsonga, Ronga, Tshwa
Tsonga is an all-inclusive name for the Tswa-Ronga or Tonga Group of Bantu (Guthrie S50). (Webbook)
For our purposes here we cover Tsonga, Ronga, and Tshwa.
Ethnologue lists the classification as: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Tswa-Ronga (S.50)
Although Tsonga is sometimes called Tonga, it should not be confused with the Tonga (Guthrie M60) spoken in Zambia or Tonga (Guthrie S60) spoken in Mozambique. There is a Tonga spoken in Malawi that is apparently different from all the above.
In South Africa it is spoken mainly in the Limpopo province. "In Mozambique, xiTsonga is the second largest language in terms of the number of speakers." (Hlungwani 2003)
According to Ethnologue:
Baumbach's (1970) thesis describes the dialect situation in Tsonga... (Webbook)
According to Ethnologue:
'Tsonga' is used to describe Changana, Tswa, and Ronga, although it is often used interchangeably with Changana, the most prestigious of the three. All are recognized as languages, although they are inherently intelligible. (Ethnologue)
Tsonga is an important regional language. (Webbook)
It is an official language in South Africa.
Shagaan, Tshwa, and Tsonga each have their own orthographies. (Webbook) These are Latin-based orthographies.
According to the Geonames "Unicode test page...: Tsonga alphabet" http://www.geonames.de/alphtz.html#tso , the alphabet is:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n (n’) o p q r s t u v w (x) y z
The "Language Museum" site has sample texts for the following:
The South African language site "Batho Portal" http://www.sediba.org.za/ has a section on & in Xitsonga.
There was a suggestion to adapt this localisation for the Tsonga spoken in Mozambique.
AfricanLanguages.com "Xitsonga (Tsonga)" page (info on South Africa only) http://www.africanlanguages.com/tsonga/
This is a cross-border Southern African languages that could be one of the first to have localized versions for different countries (notably South Africa and Mozambique). If they are all based on a common version - in this case the one done by Translate.org.za - that would make it easier for the broader user community.
Hlungwani, Madala Crous. 2003. "XiTsonga in South Africa Today." In Kwesi Kwaa Prah, ed., Silenced Voices: Studies on Minority Languages of Southern Africa. Capetown: CASAS.
SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Ronga," http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=rng
______, "Tsonga," http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=tso
______, "Tswa," http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=tsc
SIL International, "ISO 639 Code Tables," http://www.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp
U.S. Library of Congress, "ISO 639.2: Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages: Alpha-3 codes arranged alphabetically by the English name of language," http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/English_list.php
Wikipedia, "Tsonga language," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsonga_language
______, "Xitsonga," http://ts.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xitsonga