Swazi language

language of the Swazi people

Swati (also known as Swazi) (Swazi: SiSwati) is part of the Nguni group of Bantu languages. It is spoken by about 1.5 million people in Eswatini and South Africa. It is one of the eleven official languages in South Africa. It is taught in the schools of Eswatini, and in some South African schools. Swati is closely related to Phuthi, a language spoken in Lesotho, and to Zulu, Ndebele and Xhosa.

Native toEswatini, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique
Native speakers
2.3 million (2006–2011)[1]
2.4 million L2 speakers in South Africa (2002)[2]
Latin (Swazi alphabet)
Swazi Braille
Signed Swazi
Official status
Official language in
South Africa
Language codes
ISO 639-1ss
ISO 639-2ssw
ISO 639-3ssw

Swati has four main varietes: Shiselweni, Hhohho, Manzini and Shiselweni. They correspond with the four administrative regions of Eswatini.


  1. Swazi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Webb, Vic. 2002. "Language in South Africa: the role of language in national transformation, reconstruction and development." Impact: Studies in language and society, 14:78
  3. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Swati". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online