Learning Shona language fast

 Learning Shona Fast

Learning Shona can be difficult but can also be fun.Depending on the learner’s attitude and the skill of the teacher. Zig Ziglar said, “It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.” Shona is one of the vernacular languages of Zimbabwe.And Zimbabwe is in Southern Africa, to the immediate north of South Africa. I was born in Zimbabwe and I live in the U.S. but I speak and write the language proficiently. Before I left Zimbabwe I was A Shona teacher.  I went to the University of Zimbabwe to get my Bachelor of Arts degree and my teaching certificate, and Shona was one of the main Courses.


Why Learn Shona

You may ask yourself, why learn another language, when I have my own? Actually, there are several reasons:

  • There is no way you will learn another language without knowing the culture and the foods.That in itself is enhancing.You become of more value even to your own people, cause you have some knowledge to share.
  • You learn to appreciate other people by knowing them better
  • Who knows, one day you might visit Zimbabwe and you won’t be that lost language-wise.Your experience will be more enhanced.
  • Missionaries that go to any country whilst they know the local language have a better experience with the people.
  • you might make friends with Zimbabweans or your spouse is a Zimbabwean  Shona speaking individual, and you speak English. That’s a great way to enhance your relationship.
  • A language barrier can be a deterrent, so obvious knowing each other’s language is of great benefit.
  • Oh… or maybe you were born in Zimbabwe, and left the country when you were young.I know several people like that now lost the language.Therefore delving into these lessons will be valuable to you.

Shona Vowels

I am now giving you the vowels and explain how you pronounce them.

a...this you pronounce as the ‘a’ on (announcing/arrange)   

e…….as the ‘e’ on (explaining/egg/excellent)

i………as the  ‘i’ on Important/Improve

o…….as the ‘o’ on (organize/order/offspring)

u……as the ‘u’ on (ululate) This one is a sound the Shona women make at celebrations.



The above are vowels and every syllable has a vowel like  a       e      i      o    u

Then some syllables have consonant and a vowel  like ma….it has a consonant      m and a vowel a

The syllable bha  has consonant  b  and   and vowel a


So the vowels are the basics of the language.Followed by syllables with one consonant or more with a vowel.The sounds of the syllables are determined mostly by the vowel on the syllable.Check out the table below:


Learn Shona

So if you take the syllables se-  ku-  ru you get sekuru(grandfather)

bha-ra (wheelbarrow)

bha is pronounced like ba on barrelhouse barometer barbaric


The basics of the Shona language are vowels: a    e    i    o    u,   and remember how they are pronounced. And whenever you are reading a Shona word, remember the pronunciation is determined mostly by the vowels at the end of the syllables.But that does not mean the consonant isn’t important.Once  you get that, it’s going to be easier for you to know how to read Shona.http://superiordomain.net/another-language-culture/

In future, I will be illustrating via video. Get ready for some more fun

About Mavis Chuma

I love Jesus. I love life. I love people. My life is hid in Christ in God. I belong to God & am seated in heavenly places with Jesus Christ. As Jesus is in heaven so am I in the world. So I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. I am a winner.

2 Replies to “Learning Shona language fast”

    • Thank you Wil so much. And yes,Shona is an easy language to learn.Some of the words were borrowed from English actually.It’s just the spelling that differs.

Tell us what you think....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.