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Mammal Names

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Unread post by richardharris » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:40 am

Too many languages - I can barely speak English. Years at school and I managed about 10 words in French. Not my best academic feature!

You occasionally meet someone working in the Park from the old Venda area - and everyone struggles then!

But I can recommend 'The Field Guide to Mammals of the KNP' by Heike Schutze. I have had mine for a few years but I think its still available. This gives the names in several languages, including a number of African ones.

eg fleckenhyane, hyene, gevlekte hiena, impisi, ipisi, imphisi, isandawane, phiri, sentawana, mhisi, xitsindziri, phele

Hyaena (spotted) of course

Germa, French, Africaans - and isiNdebele, isiZulu, isiXhosa etc etc!


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Maargat G
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Unread post by Maargat G » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:55 pm

Hi everyone.

In knp you have different sectors where they use different names for the animals. In ex. In the north they wont talk about a lion as they would do in the south.

I know a few, mostly the big no 5.
But this is how they would talk in the south.from tsokwane down.

Lion: ngala
Elie: ndlovu
Buf: inyati
Leopard: ingwe
Rhino: ngobe

There are a few other I can mention aswell if you like. I hope I have helped you a little bit.

{All caps removed by DQ}

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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Unread post by richardharris » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:56 pm

If they were saying goni, it would seem like a shortened or slang version.

Copied this from an 'official' website - not sure it helps!


The name of the people in their language is Vachangana. The singular form is Muchangana. In Bantu languages, grammatical markers are prefixes. Thus standard English grammar uses the word stem, Shangaan, as the name. Shangaan is another name for the Tsonga people, a southeastern Bantu people. The Shangaan people are part of a larger language/people group also called the Tsonga (Vatsonga) because of the fame of the Tsonga (Shangaan) people. The Tsonga encompass three sub-groups: Ronga, Tswa and Tsonga (Shangaan). These three groups are very similar in practically every respect. They originated from the same indigenous Bantu peoples who came down from the north to inhabit much of what is now called southern Mozambique and portions of several bordering countries. They were among the clans moving away from the ravage of Shaka, the Zulu conqueror.

It is extremely difficult to determine an estimated population of the Shangaan people. This is at least partially due to the fact that written information often confuses the Shangaan with the larger group of Tsonga people. The name of the Shangaan subgroup, Tsonga, is also often used to refer to the whole group. So, often when reading information, one cannot determine if a given population estimate is of the Shangaan people specifically, or of the overall larger group of the Tsonga people.

Language: Shangaan is one of three very closely-related Tsonga dialects. It is believed that these variations exist at least partly because different groups of the same original people inhabited slightly different sections of southern Mozambique, therefore developing a few liguistic variations. For historical and cultural reasons, the three Tsonga languages--Tsonga, Ronga and Tswa are given separate language (ROPAL) codes.

The language of the Shangaan people is called Xichangana (or "Shangaan" by outsiders). Shangaan has at least five differents variants:

Each variant is spoken by Shangaan people living in different areas of the overall Shangaan region.

Many African laguages pronounce every consonant separately - thus n-d-lop-fu; at least I think that would be correct.


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