Kikongo-Kituba is a creole language that is based on some Bakongo languages. It is known with various names, such as Kikongo ya leta, Munukutuba, Ikeleve and sometimes plainly as Kituba and even Kikongo. It is spoken by several peoples in the Republic of Congo (a.k.a. Congo-Brazzaville), the Democratic Republic of Congo (a.k.a. Congo-Kinshasa, ex-Zaire) and Angola. It is an official language in Congo-Kinshasa and Congo-Brazzaville. The language has up to 10 million speakers.
Kikongo-Kituba words consist of a prefix and a stem. In this dictionary the Kituba words are arranged in the alphabetic order according to the word stem. Therefore it is essential to be able to recognise the prefixes. They are presented in the following table.
|Singularprefix||Pluralprefix||Examples||Notes on usage|
|-||ba-||kento||bakento||This is the most common class|
|mu-||mukento||bakento||This class includes mostly words describing human beings|
|N-||nkento||bakento||This is contraction of the previous class|
|mu-||mi-||mukánda||mikánda||Many kinds of words are included in this class.|
|-||ma-||kutu||makutu||This class includes i.a. living organisms and body parts.|
|di-||dikutu||makutu||The plural is used for uncountable things such as liquids.|
|ki-||bi-||kilápi||bilápi||Tools and apparatus|
|ka-||tu-||kamfulu||tumfulu||Diminutive and affectionate words.|
|bu-||bumósi||This class includes abstract ideas, therefore there is no plural.|
|ku-||kupésa||This group includes only verbs and verbal nouns.|
The two "mu"-prefixes are differentiated with enumeration. "¹mu" stands for Class 1-2 (mu-, ba-) and "³mu" stands for Class 3-4 (mu-, mi-).
Kikongo-Kituba has pitch accent system with one pitch distinction: low vs. high. In this word list the low pitch is unmarked and the high pitch is marked with acute accent on vowels.
Note on pronunciation: nk = [ŋk], ng = [ŋg] and ng' = [ŋ].
Kituba has two tones, high (´) and low (`). A falling tone (^) occurs rarely, on the final syllable. Great majority of Kituba words have the main pattern of a single high tone on the penultimate (second to last) syllable. Only words with deviating tone patterns are marked in this dictionary.
A B D E F G H I K L M N NG' O P R S T U V W Y Z
kiadi angst, anxiety, mental pain → mpási Afelika Africa = Katiopa diaki egg maki eggs Alubé Albert ³muamba palm oil Amelika America ¹muana child bumuana childhood bana children bana ya Kongo the people of Congo bana ya Nzambi children of God ata particle marking future tense → ta Azia Asia
ba they = bawu kibahá Bahaism, the Bahá'í faith kubaka to take, to receive bakala man, male; husband = yakala kibakala courage, manliness ³mubaku fox kibala shell, scale mbàlà time, iteration mbalá yam; potato mbàlà mingi many times, often, frequently mbàlà mosi one time, once kimbanda an Afro-American religion of Brazil dibanga boulder, rock, stone kubangula to explain babantu the Bantu people(s) kibantu Bantu, Bantoid mbanza town, city Mbanza-Kongo former capital of the Congo Kingdom Mbanza-Ngungu major station town in Central Congo kubasika to get out, to exit kubasisa to let out, to oust bawu they kubeba to be spoiled, wasted kubebisa to spoil, to waste, to squander dibelé breast, teat mabelé breasts, bust, bosom; milk bembe dove, pigeon kibendé iron kibeni self (myself, yourself, himself, herself, ...) kibeni dump truck beno you (plural) beno kibeni you yourself benu you (plural) kibesi hoe dìbètè drop, water drop beto we mbeto bed = mfúlu kibila sacred grove, sanctuary kibilikí brick biló bureau, office; desk kubinga to invite kubisa to defy, to disobey, to oppose kimbisa an Afro-American religion of Cuba = kipálo bisi = busi mbizi fish mbizi ya kuyúma dried or smoked fish diboka a shamanic dance or divinatory technique diboko hand, arm kiboko hippopotamus = ngubu boma pen, enclosure, paddock mbombo nose; nostril bambombo nostrils mbòngo money Mbóté! Hello! kimbóté goodness ya mbóté good boyi boy, houseboy, servant mbuá dog buala village, town Buali ancient capital of Luango kibubu gorilla mbuetete star buku book → ³mukanda mbuku place, locality, centre = mbúka Mbuku-Nzawu Bucu-Zau, a municipality in the enclave of Cabinda bula-matadi government kubukuna to break, to fracture kubukuta to crunch, to munch kibula-matadi → kituba kubula to hit; to break kubula mabóko to clap hands, to applaud kubula ³mukanda na masinu to type with typewriter dibunda thigh dibundu fruit, berry (di)bundu sect, church, congregation Bundu ya Kongo a Bakongo movement for the restauration of the Kongo Kingdom dibundu ya katolika the Catholic Church kibundu total, entirety busi bus mbuta elder; ancestor kubutama to be born kibuti parent
dalapó flag badawi the Bedouins ndefu = ndevu ndeke bird = nuni ³mundelé white person, Caucasian bamindelé the White people dernié last = ya nsuka (ma)ndevu beard kúdia to eat mádia food diaka again Dido Dieudonné kudila to cry, to weep ludimi tongue ndinga language ndinga ya bwála national language ndokí sorcerer, witch kindokí sorcery, witchcraft dokotolo doctor, physician = munganga budokotolo medicine = kilongo ndómbé person with dark skin, negroid ndona lady, mistress; madonna ndosi dream ya ndudi sour nduku friend ³muduma mamba (snake) nduma mamba ndumba miss, young woman didungú testicle madungú testicles, balls ndundú albino Bandundú Bandundu city, ex-Banningville ndunzi happiness
ebene ebony ébue...? Is it so that...? éé yes → ínga estano → ntani Ezipte Egypt = Ngipiti
kifalu rhinoceros ¹mufarisi Pharisee fasó fashion, way, style → mpilá mafinya pus fioti a little, not much ya fioti little, small foti fault, mistake kufua to die; to kill lufua death kufwana to suffice, to be enough kufuanana to be alike/equal, to resemble kifuanisu image, portrait, likeness (di)fubu marrow, core; pineapple kufuété must, to have to fufú rat fuku million mfulu bed kamfulu cradle mfumu chief, boss kufunda to accuse ¹mufundi accuser kufundisa to judge kifundisi judge ¹mufundisi judge mafuta grease, oil
Ngabu Gabon ¹mungabu Gabonese gale train station bangala the Bangala people dingala Lingala kingala Lingala, the lingua franca of North Congo ngandu crocodile mugàngà = nganga ngàngà medicine man, physician, doctor; priest ngàngà-nkisi medicine man ngàngà-nzambi priest ngasi palm nut gata village = buala ngayí-ngayí acidious gazete periodical, journal, gazette gazi gas ngé you (singular) na ngé your ya ngé your Ngipiti Egypt ngò leopard, panther ngò-zulu eagle ngolo power, force, strength ngoma drum ngondá moon; month ngongolo centipede nguana Arabized blacks of East Africa kinguana variant of kiswahili spoken in east Congo-Kinshasa nguba peanut ngubu hippopotamus = kibóko ngulú pig ngulú-gata domestic pig ngulú-mfinda bush pig ngumba porcupine ngunga bell, gong; bell ring; hour, the interval between two bell rings ngunza prophet; messiah, saviour kingunza prophetic religion nguvu hippopotamus = kiboko
hozana! hosanna! bahúng'ana a Bakongo tribe
ikele particle marking durative tense/aspect → kele, ké builu darkness, obscurity imene particle marking perfect tense/aspect → mene, mé ³muinda light, lamp, candle inga yes → éé ¹muisi inhabitant (pl. besi) ivuari ivory → dinu ya nzáu iyá 4, four ya iyá fourth kiyá Thursday
³mukaba belt, girdle (di)kabu part, section nkadi (ya mpembe) demon, evil spirit nkafi oar, paddle kaka only nkaka other, another ya nkaka other kakí khaki (color) dikaku monkey makaku monkeys (ma)kala charcoal; blackness ya makala black, pitch-black kalasi class; school (di)kalu rail, metal bar, metal rod kikalu stairs, ladder lukalu train nkama 100, hundred ³mukanda text: letter, article; book = buku nkanda text, document; letter kanza cobra kapita foreman makasi anger, wrath katekisimu catechism kati center; interior nkati center; interior na kati ya inside ya kati ya central Katiopia Africa nkatu nothing, nil, zero katuka from = tuka nkayi = nkafi ké particle marking the present tense kele particle marking the present tense kele na to have makelélé noise, sound ¹mukeluba cherub kena to be = ké (¹mu)kentó woman; female nkentó woman; female luketo hip nkì → (í)nki nkiama rainbow ³mukìdì river bank, solid land kiló kilogram kukina to dance (ki)kindá grave, sepulchre makinu dance mukisi = nkísi nkisi spirit of nature; magical power; fetish, amulet, talisman; medicine nkisi nsi spirit of earth nkita spirit that is captured by ngàngà to fight against ndokí Klisto Christ ¹muklisto christian nkokila evening ¹mukoko tribal Teke king mukólé snail nkólé captive, prisoner lukolo school komí secretary, registrar komputa computer kóndé net, network, web Kongo Congo Kongo-Braza Congo-Brazzaville Kongo-Kinsasa Congo-Kinshasa Kongo ya ntotila Congo Kingdom bakongo the Kongo people dikongó spear, javelin kikongo any of the interrelated languages spoken by the Bakongo, incl. kituba kikongo ya letá Kikongo of the state = kitúba kikongo-kituba lingua franca based on Kikongo ¹mukongo a Kongo person ³mukongó back, spine nkongo a Kongo person; hunter nkosi lion; fetish (representing lion) dikoto knee ¹múkua possessor of, inhabitant of nkua possessor of, inhabitant of nkua Bandundu inhabitant of Bandundu Kuámuntu Kwamouth ³mukuba painting ³mukubu ya mengá bleeding, flow of blood nkubu bleeding Kuenda mbóté! Goodbye!, Farewell! kukuenda to go, to leave kukuisa → kukwiza Kuíza mbóté! Welcome! kukuiza to come nkulu ancestor; spirit of deceased = nkuyu kinkulu past, history (di)kùlù foot, leg kumbi wagon; ship; train kumbi ya maza ship = masuá kumbi ya ntoto train = lukalu kumi 10, ten kumi ná mosi 11, eleven kumi ná zolé 12, twelve kumi ye mosi 11, eleven kumi ye zolé 12, twelve makumi zolé 20, twenty makumi zolé ná mosi 21, twenty-one kuna there dikundú supplementary internal organ of witches, organ of supernatural power in abdomen nkuni wood, firewood kurá electric current, electricity nkusi fart nkusu parrot ¹mukuyu spirit of deceased, ghost, lost soul nkuyu spirit of deceased, ghost, lost soul
labó (hand) plane balabu the Arabs kilabu Arabic language ¹mulabu an Arab baladi a Bakongo tribe = balari ladió radio malafu alcohol dilálá orange, citrus fruit langi color ya langi muamba yellow ³mulàngì bottle lapé rabbit kilari a dialect of Kikongo spoken mainly in Brazzaville and the Pool region ¹mulate mulatto ¹mulatere mulatto Malebo the Malebo Pool, the Stanley Pool kiletá = kikongo ya leta, kituba kilima climate ³mulisi militia lita liter, litre litelo = lita ³mulolo savanna shrub dilòngà plate kilongo medicine = nkisi Lorá Laurent loso rice Luango ancient empire of the Bavili baluba the Luba people kiluba the Luba language kiluba ya Kasai Ciluba kiluba ya Katanga Kiluba dilulu insect maluma semen, sperm kilumbu day, 24 hours (ki)lunzi soul, spiritual double Lunzi Santu the Holy Ghost kuluwé to rent, to lease Luwí Louis
kíma thing, item, article bíma things, stuff mama mother mamá mother kimanianga a dialect of Kikongo spoken in the Manianga region = kikongo ya Manianga (di)manga mango masuá boat, ship mbua dog imbua dog bumbuli central pillar of house (di)mémé sheep mene particle marking perfect tense/aspect = mé mé particle marking perfect tense/aspect = méne menga blood mesa table meta meter, metre metelo → meta meza table → mesa mine mine (bomb), mine (excavation) mingi many, much; very lumingu Sunday mira myrrh misa (Catholic) mass kumona to see, to look ¹mumoni seer, visionary, clairvoyant kumonisa to show mono I, me = múnu na mono my ya mono my Mose Moses mosi 1, one; self bumosi oneness, unity kimosi Monday moyo soul, spirit kimpenzi chimpanzee kimpiti antelope mú I, me Mú zaba ve. I don't know. Mudiso Maurice munu I, me munu kibeni me myself ya munu my múnukutúba kikongo ya munu kutuba = kituba muéné ruler, lord, sir bamuéné rulers, lords muéné Kongo Manikongo, ruler of Kongo muéné Mputu ruler of Portugal (hist.) muéné-nsi ruler of land, head of state muéné Soyo ruler of Soyo, count of Soyo (hist.)
nà at, in, on; to; from ná with; and mama ná muana mother and child nanasi pineapple nani who banani who (plural) nde that (conjunction) ¹mundongo slave lùngàdì muslim = musilamu lunguenia chameleon ni it's ni munu it's me ni nge it's you ni nge yina me sala yawu. it's you who did it. niama animal, beast; prey; meat niau cat Nikolá Nicholas nioka snake nionia ant nitu body kinkokó magic animal, animal familiar, demon familiar, totem animal ³munòkò mouth, orifice, opening (í)nsua permission, right kinsukulu eggplant, aubergine mante saliva (í)nti tree; wood (í)ntu head bàntù people, population bántu heads bùntù humanity, humaneness ¹mùntù person, human being bumùntù humanity dínu tooth dínu ya nzawu elephant tusk, ivory ménu teeth kunuana to fight, to battle nuanu conflict, fight, battle nuani fighter, warrior núni bird → ndeke ³munuta minute, 60 seconds kúnua to drink ³munyi the visible world nyitu body = nitu dinzanza tin plate, sheet metal kinzanzala insect (í)nzo house (í)nzo-nzambi church (building) (í)nzo ya manzanza house with tin roof mwanzo cottage, cabin, shed, hangar, small house
ng'ambú the opposite shore na ng'ambú on the other side of the river ³mungwá salt (í)nki? what? (í)nki kilumbu? which day? (í)nki ntangu? what time? when? ng'ombé cow, bovine ng'ombé-koko bull ng'ombé-nkento cow
oro gold = wolo
kipalo an Afro-American religion of Cuba, Palo = kimbisa mpangi friend kimbangi fraternity papá father, poppa mpasi pain, ache pe and = yé, ná mpe also, too mpémbé white ³mupèpè wind, breeze kupesa to give ¹mupesi donor, giver Pételo Peter mpevé spirit Mpevé Santu the Holy Ghost kupeza to weigh, to measure weight mpi also = mpe mpika slave bumpika slavery mpilá type, sort, kind; way → fasó mpilá mosi similar, same kind, same way mpilá na mpilá all kinds of mpilá ve no way, impossible mpilá yayi this way, like this lupitalu hospital mpimpá night; dark kupola to rot ya kupola rotten mpondó millet or sorghum ¹mupopó Beninese, a person from Benin potó-póto swamp, marsh, mud puaka simpleton puante point, tip Puántenuá Pointe-Noire Mpumbu the Malebo pool; (old name of) Kinshasa mputo grape Mputu Europe
rabó → labó radió radio → ladió Repo! At ease! (mil.) Roma Rome Rusia Russia
mása = máza sabala Saturday (ki)sabato Saturday; Sabbath sabatu shoe kusadisa to help (di)nsala feather kusala to do; to work sala ngolo make an effort nsala feather, dove kisalu work, job sanduku case, suitcase, trunk, chest nsangu news nsangu ya mbóté Gospel, the Good Word lusanse gasoline santu saint ya santu saint, holy busantu saintity, holiness ³músapi finger, toe nséké savannah, steppe, prairie; land, region selafé seraphim sena senate, parliament si land = nsi besi people of besi Kongo people of Kongo besi Mputu Europeans ¹músi land = nsi Músikongo = Músi Kongo Kongo land nsi land nsi ya ntotila kingdom na nsi ya under, beneath, at the base of ínsi land ¹muisi inhabitant (pl. besi) ¹muisi Kongo inhabitant of Congo, a Congolese ¹munsi inhabitant = ¹muisi (³mu)nsikú law minsikú ya letá constitution kisilamu Islam musilamu muslim, moslem simba lion = nkosi kusimbá to grab, to grasp, to hold kusimbá nzila to take route (ki)simbi genie, water spirit, nature spirit masini machine sodá soldier sokolá chocolate dísu eye mésu eyes masuba urine, piss kisubulu toilet, WC nsuka end ya nsuka the last, final sukadi sugar kusukula to wash, to bathe kusumba to buy kusumbama to be bought nsusu hen, chicken nsusu-koko cock, rooster kiswahili Kiswahili, the lingua franca of East Africa
ta particle marking future tense = ata ditadi stone, rock kitadi metal; medal takisí taxi ditaku buttock mataku buttocks, bottom, bum, ass kutala to look, to watch, to see (ki)talatala mirror ³mutambu trap, snare ntandu highland(s), upland(s) kintandu Kikongo dialect of upper Congo ntangu sun; moment, time ntangu ya when, at the moment of ntani tin, Sn tanu 5, five ya tanu fifth kitanu Friday tata father tatá father tatu 3, three ya tatu third butatu trinity kitatu Wednesday ntatu trio, troika bateké Teke people kiteki idol, statue of deity kutela to call for, to send for, to summon lutelu calling, summoning, convoking ya ntété the first, premier tí to, until; and = yé nti tree = (í)nti ntima heart ntinu head of state, monarch, emperor, chieftain ntinu-nkento queen, empress to or toko young man kitoko beauty ntomi priest, augur, soothsayer ntomubilu automobile (bu)tongo brain kutonda to thank, to appreciate, to show gratitude ntonda thanks, gratitude Matondo Thanks!, Thank you! Matondo kibeni! Thank you yourself! Matondo na beno! Thank you! (bu)tonzu brain = tongo ntotila monarch, king ya ntotila royal ntoto earth ntuadisi leader na ntuala behind, after, in back of na mantuala behind, after, in back of kituba lingua franca (based on Kikongo), essentially the same as múnukutúba and kikongo ya letá kutuba to speak, to talk tuka from = katúka tuka Kinsása tí Matádi from Kinshasa to Matadi kutuka to leave, to depart ditungulu onion dituti cloud (di)tutu flute
Unazá National University of Zaire uvua 9, nine ya uvua ninth
vanda to be vandaka particle marking past tense; was kuvanda to rest kuvanda na to have ve no, not bavili a Bakongo tribe of the Atlantic coast north of the Kongo river kivili the language of Bavili mvita combat, war kuvuanda to reside, to live; to rest vuatili car, automobile, vehicle kuvutuka to return, to come back
Wa fasó? How are you? (used in Congo-Brazzaville) = wapi fasó kúwa to sense, to perceive, to listen; to understand kúwa makasi to get angry wanzio angel wapi? question particle wapi fasó? which way?, how? Wapi mambu? What's the problem/matter? wapi mutindu? which way?, how? wapi sika? where? wolo gold
ya of yá he, she = yandi; it = yawu kiyá Thursday ¹muyadi administrator, ruler yakala man, male; husband = bakala kuyala administrate, govern, reign luyalu administration, government, regime, reign yandi he, she yandi mosi he himself, she herself yangó the one(s) in question bayansi Yansi people yawu it = yo yayi this, these yé and = ná Yemá Emma Yesu Jesus kiyesu Christianity ¹muyesu a christian mayi water = maza Mayi-Ndómbé a great lake near Bandundu yina this, these yina who, which yinki what? yinti tree = nti yinzo house = nzo mayita semen, sperm yó it = yawu bayombé a Bakongo tribe, Mayombe Mayombé vast rain forest in Cabinda and Congo yowa the cosmic cross of the Bakongo religion Yuda Judas ¹muyuda Jew kuyuma to dry, to get dry ya kuyuma dried or smoked kuyumisa to dry, to make dry
Zá Jean, John maza water; river, lake, sea, etc. kuzaba to know, to know how kizábavé = kituba muzabi expert, sage kuzabisa to inform, to let know kizabu science mazabu knowledge, information nzadi river nzadi Kongo Congo river nzala hunger, famine nzala nail, claw kizama exam, examination nzambi god, divinity Nzambi-Mpungu God Almighty Nzambi ya Mpungu God Almighty nzawu elephant kuzaya to know = kuzaba mazayu information, knowledge, science = kizabu, mazabu nzazi lightning, thunderbolt nzò house = (í)nzo muzidi figurine, statue, idol, fetiche statue mazi oil, grease = mafúta kuzieta to walk, to go for a walk nzietolo walk, promenade nzila road, street, path, route, way na nzila ya on the way to nzila-kumbi railroad, railway nzila-lukalu railroad, railway nzila-mukidi road on land nzila-nseke path on savanna nzila-nzadi waterway, riverine route nzimbu seashell money nzinga roll, cylinder muziri = muzidi buzitu respect kuzola to like, to love; to want, to feel like doing zolé 2, two ya zolé the second kizolé Tuesday nzolé a couple, twosome luzolo love; desire kuzonzá to discuss, to talk (di)zulu sky, heaven; top mazulu heavens na zulu ya on, on top of ¹muzuluma muslim = ¹musilamu zuzi judge = ¹mufundisi
The traditional Bakongo week consists of four days. The week is called nsóna, which is also the name of the day dedicated for rest and worship i.e. their equivalent for Sunday.
In addition to other sources I have used the following dictionaries as reference in compiling this word list.