The Swazi or Swati language (Swazi: siSwati ; Zulu: isiSwazi ) is a Bantu language of the Nguni group spoken in Swaziland and South Africa by the Swazi people. The number of speakers is estimated to be in the region of 3 million. The language is taught in Swaziland and some South African schools in Mpumalanga and KaNgwane areas. Swazi is an official language of Swaziland, (along with English), and is also one of the eleven official languages of South Africa.
Although the preferred term is "Swati" among native speakers, in English it is generally referred to as Swazi: this is taken from the Zulu name for the language, isiSwazi. Swazi is most closely related to the other "Tugela" Nguni language, Phuthi; but is also very close to the "Zunda" Nguni languages: Zulu, Southern Ndebele, Northern Ndebele, and Xhosa.
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“Syntax and vocabulary are overwhelming constraintsthe rules that run us. Language is using us to talkwe think were using the language, but language is doing the thinking, were its slavish agents.”
—Harry Mathews (b. 1930)