Introductory Shona Language
lesson 1 lesson 3 solutions
lesson 2 lesson 4 other shona resources

This site contains an introduction (in English) to the Shona language, spoken by over 9 million people in Zimbabwe, as well as links to other Shona language-related sites. Any help with this (such as preparing more lessons) is welcomed - please email me at:

The answers to all exercises are on the solutions page.

If you are new to this site and want to get started learning Shona, click on 'lesson 1'.

News 06/04/2013: New resources and a novel!

I have added a couple of new resources...

  • UCLA Language Materials Project - Shona page
  • MunaHacha-Maive-Nei-Masimba-Musodza - A Science Fiction novel written in Shona. I must say that I am glad to see Shona literature tackling a modern subject. Too often there is an assumption that native African languages can only be used to tackle traditional (rural) ways of life and animist/spiritual themes.
News 03/01/2013: New resources, and some advertising

Many years have passed since the last update. I continue to receive emails every week from people keen to learn Shona, which is encouraging. Thanks especially to those who sent me messages of support.
I have now been running this site for almost 15 years as a free resource. I intend to keep it free, however for the first time I have added a couple of advertisements to the site in order to help defray the hosting costs. Please note that these are NOT generic google ads - they are ads for two specific services which I personally use and can vouch for.

There are is a new resource... I have also made a couple of wee corrections to the lessons - thanks to David Kigundu for spotting these!

News 04/12/2004: Various new resources

I have updated the resources pages on the site after a long delay: here some new things. Unfortunately no new lessons yet although one reader has offered to contribute a fifth lesson. Many thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions and encouragement - please keep them coming!

News 10/11/2002: Another Shona Book available

´┐ŻLearning Shona´┐Ż by Dambudzho Ruzhowa has been in print for several years. However I have only now listed it on this site because it has become readily available outside of Zimabwe. See my resources page for more details.

News 2/8/2000: New lesson added

I have finally added the fourth lesson I have been preparing for a while. I have also added some extra vocabulary to Lesson 3. The new lesson deals with possessives, and introduces noun concords. Go to 'lesson 4'.

News 29/7/2000: New Shona Book available

Many of you will have had trouble getting hold of copies of the books recommended on my resources page - well worry no more! A new introductory Shona book has just been published and is available on sites such as, etc. Author Aquilina Mawadza describes it:

The Shona Dictionary and Phrasebook is a compact guide that provides the means for basic communication in Shona. It features a two way dictionary of over 1400 words and a phrasebook with all the essential phrases for the visitor and/or beginning student covering topics such as introductions, useful expressions, transportation, accomodation, communication e.g. Internet, fax, food and drink, sightseeing, bank, health, time, weather. A Pronunciation Guide and Basic Grammar also complement the text.
The book's full details, including ISBN, can be found on my resources page.

News 5/7/2000: Shona 'verb conjugator'

A free online tool to conjugate and translate many Shona verbs. Click here for more details.

News 3/7/2000: Ndau primer available

Ndau is a language related to Shona which is spoken by perhaps 750,000 people in Mozambique. Thanks to a kind visitor to this site, I have a fairly comprehensive primer for this language - the only trouble is: it's in Portuguese! Click here for more details.

The sites below are nothing to do with Shona but I promote them.
Keyword Map of the Internet World Development Movement "Balancing Act" Newsletter
Keyword map of the internet A non-profit organization campaiging to end poverty and injustice in the world. One of the best website on ICT (Information & Communications Technology) in Africa.

Introductory Shona Language

© Cameron Smith 2004-2013 - feel free to copy as long as its not for profit

Please email me at: if you have any comments, suggestions, or complaints about this page.