Meaning of Tsonga in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtsɒŋɡə/

nounplural noun Tsonga, plural noun Tsongas

  • 1A member of a people living in the Limpopo province of South Africa, southern Mozambique, and southern Zimbabwe.

    Also called Shangaan

    ‘Southern tribes include the Tsonga, the Karanga, the Chopi, the Shona, and the Nguni.’
    • ‘King Shaka sits proudly next to Chief Ngungunyani of the Tsonga and Moshoeshoe of Basotho - all gesturing towards the realisation of African Nationalism.’
    • ‘Only the Tsonga / Shangaan, however, have continued their beadwork traditions to the present day.’
    • ‘For example, the Tsonga are associated with the mbila, a traditional instrument played along with drums and horns; often Tsongan music is used to accompany the tribe's traditional dance forms.’
  • 2mass noun The Bantu language of the Tsonga, which has about 3 million speakers. It is one of the official languages of South Africa.

    ‘The leaflets have been published in seven of the eleven official language, namely: Afrikaans, Tsonga, Sesotho, Zulu, English, Venda and Xhosa.’
    • ‘In the north, the Bantu languages of Yao and Makua predominate; in the Zambezi Valley, it is Nyanja is the dominant languages; and in the south, Tsonga is spoken.’
    • ‘Until 1994, with AFRIKAANS, it was one of the two official languages; in that year, nine indigenous languages became official: Ndebele, Pedi, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.’


  • Relating to the Tsonga or their language.

    ‘The piece is layered with narrative, some implied, others drawing from Tsonga mythology central to his discourse.’
    • ‘He said among the endangered cultures were the Tsonga culture of Tamba initiation, the Dry Stone Settlement and the Khoisan culture.’
    • ‘Khomanani is a Tsonga word meaning ‘caring for or supporting each other’.’
    • ‘An additional 24 African DNA samples (from the Nguni, Sotho-Tswanga, and Tsonga groups of South Africa) were provided.’


Alocal name, from either Tsonga or Zulu.