world cuisine | languages
search help | about us | allergies
Bantu languages

The Bantu languages (technically Narrow Bantu languages) constitute a grouping belonging to the Niger-Congo family. This grouping is deep down in the genealogical tree of the Bantoid grouping, which in turn is deep down in the Niger-Congo tree. By one estimate, there are 513 languages in the Bantu grouping, 681 languages in Bantoid, and 1,514 in Niger-Congo. Bantu languages are spoken largely east and south of the present day nation of Nigeria; i.e., in the regions commonly known as central Africa, east Africa, and southern Africa. Parts of this Bantu chunk of Africa also have languages from outside the Niger-Congo family.

The word Bantu was first used by Wilhelm Heinrich Immanuel Bleek (1827-1875) with the meaning 'people', as this is reflected in many of the languages of this group. A common characteristic of Bantu languages is that they use a stem form such as -ntu or -tu for 'person', and the plural prefix for people in many languages is ba-, together giving ba-ntu "people". Bleek, and later Carl Meinhof, pursued extensive comparative studies of Bantu language grammars. (Ref: Wikipedia)

Bantu on

To find foods and food-related items in in Bantu you may search by any sensible combination of the following terms:
Africa African Banta Bantas Banto Bantoe Bantoetalen Bantoue Bantoues Bantu Bantues Bantu n Congo Congolese Langues Lenguas s Lingue Niger Nigeria Nigerian West Western Saharan Sub-Sahara n Subsaharan Subsahara

These terms associated with languages are hidden behind the scenes as there is some crossover with other African languages. This is not intended to be offensive and I apologise to anyone who feels affronted. In the same way I have included 'Indian' in the search terms for foods of Sri Lanka, 'English' in searches of the food glossary for Welsh or Scottish; likewise for other Indian, African or South American food terms, where any of hundreds of languages may be in use. It is simply to aid the traveller, often ignorant of the finer detail.

You may use any of the above terms in any search you make using 'Translate from English' so that if you wish to search for a translation of locust bean, choose whichever of these language terms that you think is most appropriate, say:
'locust bean congo' and then click on 'Translate from English'.

One of the problems of providing searches in a multilingual world-wide food dictionary is trying to help people reach the things they are searching for. People do not always know the precise language being used, so these more general searches, such as 'African', should help in a successful search.

Also included in the glossary are dishes from the cuisine of the region, cookery terms, cooking methods, drinks, food festivals, days of the week, months of the year etc.

<< go to main page

Feel free to e-mail us if you have any comments, but be aware that the database is just being maintained, not updated.

© Suzy Oakes, all rights reserved
All data appearing on this site are copyright protected