read & pronounce

Swiss Missionaries were the first ones to establish written Changana. They took great interest in the culture of the Changana people and taught their language in school and in church. When translating into Changana, they used Portuguese, Mozambique’s only official language, as an intermediary language.

Therefore, the spelling and pronunciation of Changana follows the Portuguese language. Portuguese speakers will automatically pronounce most Changana words correctly when reading. For all non-Portuguese speakers here a brief guide how to pronounce some important letters.

x"sh" as in sharkxibaba (right)
o (end of word)"oe" as in shoemixo (morning)
e"e" as in egglembe (year)
i"e" as in shexipixi (cat)
kh"k" as in kindmakhala (charcoal)
k"g" as in gardenku kwata (to be angry)


These two sounds are very common and distinctive in Changana, but you won’t find them other c……… European language:

letterpronounciationword exampleAudio
hllisp like sound,
pressing tongue to palate
ku hleka (to laugh)
Inhlekani (good afternoon)
nhloko (head)
svwhistle like sound
(say "sh" and whistle at same time)
svosvi (now)
ku sveka (to cook)
svakuda (food)