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Bantu language of Niger-Congo languages (spoken in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique)

Chewa, also known as Nyanja, is a language of the Bantu language family. The noun class prefix chi- is used for languages, so the language is also called Chichewa and Chinyanja (spelled 'Cinyanja' in Zambia, and 'Cinianja' in Mozambique). In Malawi, the name was officially changed from Chinyanja to Chichewa in 1968 at the insistence of President Hastings Kamuzu Banda (himself of the Chewa tribe), and this is still the name most commonly used in Malawi today. In Zambia, Chewa is spoken by other people like the Ngoni and the Kunda, so a more neutral name, Chinyanja '(language) of the lake' (referring to Lake Malawi), is used instead of Chichewa.

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1. the Bantu language of the Chewa people of east central Africa
(hypernym) Bantu, Bantoid language

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