The most widely spoken Bantu languages, in ascending order, are said to be, Kikuyu, Mbundu, Tshiluba, Xhosa, Kirundi, Lingala, Zulu, Kinyarwanda, Shona, Swahili.
If you are not actually learning a Bantu language, you may wonder if this chapter holds any interest for you. Pleased be assured that it does, The journey will help us to appreciate the beauty and complexity of all languages, including our own.
We shall also be paving the way for volume II of this series: The Language Secret: How to Speak a Language Well. If you have read this far, we know that’s what you want to do.
In the previous chapters, we have taken a pragmatic, utilitarian approach, asking ourselves the question: how can we communicate approximately what we mean with the minimum amount of effort? Language is not just a form of communication, however, so in this chapter we shall concentrate a little more on the aesthetics, on the nuances, on what makes language so beautiful. And in so doing we will embark on the first steps to the delights of speaking another tongue fluently.