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Zulu is a language in the Nguni group of Bantu (Guthrie S40). (Webbook)
Ethnologue lists the classification as: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Nguni (S.40)
Fanagalo is a Zulu-based pidgin.
According to Ethnologue:
Fanagalo has "[s]everal hundred thousand speakers in South Africa (1975 Reinecke)" (Ethnologue)
One variety of Ndebele is close to Zulu.
Although based on Zulu, Fanagalo is a pidgin language.
Zulu is one of the 11 official languages of South Africa. It is the most spoken language in the country.
Literacy rate (according to Ethnologue):
Zulu has a standardized orthography based on the unmodified Latin alphabet. This is described in the Terminology and Orthography No. 4 of 1993. [need full citation]
Zulu has a Roman-based orthography which represents the spoken language well. The click sounds ... are written using various combinations of graphemes .... (UCLA-LMP)
Zulu uses all 26 letters of the English alphabet, but some characters have different values for the sounds in the language, and there are several letter combinations.
SALanguages.com has a page with alphabet and pronunciation at http://salanguages.com/isizulu/zulpg.htm . The alphabet (with digraphs and trigraphs) listed there is:
a b bh ch d dl e f g gc gq gx h hh hl i j k k kh kl l m n nc ng nq nx ny o p ph qh s sh t th ts tsh u v w xh y z
Omniglot also has a page with alphabet and pronunciation at http://www.omniglot.com/writing/zulu.htm . The alphabet (with digraphs and trigraphs) listed there is:
a b bh c ch d dl dy e f g gc gq gx h hh hl i j k kh kl kp l m n nc ngc ngq ngx nhl nk nkc nkq nkx nq ntsh nx ny o p ph q qh r rh s sh t th tl ts tsh u v w x xh y z
The "Language Museum" site has text samples for:
The South African Languages site has some sample texts: http://salanguages.com/isizulu/zultexts.htm
Latin fonts without extended ranges (such as commonly used for English) will suffice.
An English keyboard or the South African keyboard http://translate.org.za/content/view/24/41/ can be used (verify re the English keyboard)
There is an "isiZulu Spelling Checker 1.0 & Hyphenator" for Microsoft products for sale at http://www.bowline.co.za/home.asp?pid=24&product=1098
The Local Language Speech Technology Initiative (LLSTI) http://www.llsti.org/ has a text-to-speech (TTS) system for Zulu. According to the site: "The isiZulu TTS system has been developed under the leadership of Marelie Davel at CSIR in Pretoria, South Africa, with input from Prof Etienne Barnard, and much hard work from festival expert Aby Louw." For more info and downloads see http://www.llsti.org/downloads-languages-isizulu.htm
Diverse resources for reference, learning:
Language experts (from other sources - this will need verifying)
Zulu Language Board of KwaZulu
Omniglot, "Zulu (isiZulu)," http://www.omniglot.com/writing/zulu.htm
SALanguages.com (South African Languages), "IsiZulu," http://salanguages.com/isizulu/
SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Zulu," http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=zul
U.S. Library of Congress, "ISO 639.2," http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/englangn.html
UCLA, Language Materials Project, "Zulu (profile)," http://www.lmp.ucla.edu/Profile.aspx?LangID=23&menu=004
Wikipedia, "Zulu language," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulu_language