Zulu Language Resources

This guide is intended to provide you with some useful print and electronic resources to assist in learning the Zulu language and culture.

Print Sources


The concise multilingual dictionary : English, Xhosa, Zulu, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Tswana, Johannesburg: Ad Donker, 1995.
African Studies Library P361 .C66 1995

English-Zulu, Zulu-English dictionary. Doke, Clement Martyn, 1893-Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1990.
Mugar Library PL8843 .D65 1990

Compact Zulu dictionary : English-Zulu, Zulu-English. Dent, G. R. (George Robinson)Pietermaritzburg : Shuter & Shooter, 1985, c1959.
Mugar Library PL8843 .D43 1985

Zulu-English dictionary. Colenso, John William, 1814-1883. Farnborough, Gregg, 1967 [i.e. 1968].
Mugar LibraryPL8843 .F05

English-Zulu dictionary. Doke, Clement Martyn, 1893-Johannesburg,WitwatersrandUniversityPress, 1958.
African Studies Library PL8843 .F58

An English-Zulu Dictionary: With the Principles of Pronunciation and Classification Fully Explained (1895), Charles Roberts.
The E-book version is also available.



Isizulu soqobo : ibanga 5 / E.S.Q. Zulu …[et al.]. Plessislaer : KwaZulu Booksellers, 1986.
Mugar Library PL8842 .I855 1986

Isizulu soqobo : ibanga 8 / E.S.Q. Zulu …[et al.]. Plessislaer : KwaZulu Booksellers, 1986.
Mugar Library PL8842 .I858 1986

A handbook of the Zulu language / D. Ziervogel, J.A. Louw, P.C. Taljaard Ziervogel, DPretoria : J.L. van Schaik, 1985
Mugar Library PL8842 .Z5 1985

Learn Zulu / [by] C. L. Sibusiso Nyembezi Nyembezi, C. L. Sibusiso (Cyril Lincoln Sibusiso), 1919-. Pietermaritzburg [South Africa] : Shuter and Shooter, 1984, 1972
Mugar Library PL8842 .N9 1972

Zulu Texts



Inqolobane yesizwe. Nyembezi, C. L. Sibusiso (Cyril Lincoln Sibusiso), 1919-Pietermaritzburg: Shuter & Shooter, 1996. (2006printing) [glossaries/vocabularies]
Mugar LibraryPL8843 .N9 1982

South African Voices Zenani, Nongenile Masithathu. Madison,Wis.: Parallel Press,UniversityofWisconsin-Madison Libraries, c2006. [folklore, language texts]
Mugar Library Gr 359.2 .X64 Z458 2006 v. 1-3

Insumansumane Zondi, Elliot. Johannesburg:WitwatersrandUniversityPress, 1986. [language texts]
Mugar Library PL8025.6 .B35 no.19

Uvivi Lokusa : iqoqo lezinkodlo elihlelwe yilaba / E.T.Z. Mthiyane, M.O. Mbatha, L.T.L. Mabuya.
Mthiyane, E. T. Z. Cape Town : Juta, 1983.

Amandiki Khumalo, Nkosinathi A. P. Pretoria : De Jager-HAUM, c1985. [short stories]
Inquire at African Studies Library

Nursery tales, traditions, and histories of the Zulus, in their own words, with a translation into English, and notes, by Canon Callaway. Vol. I Callaway, Henry. Westport,Conn., Negro Universities Press [1970]. [Folklore/children’s stories in Zulu & English]
Mugar LibraryPL8844 .A2 C3 1970M

Isizulu soqobo : ibanga 5 / E.S.Q. Zulu … [et al.]. Plessislaer : KwaZulu Booksellers, 1986.
Mugar LibraryPL8842 .I855 1986

Online Sources

Online Dictionaries

IsiZulu.Net — Free online Zulu-English Dictionary, includes grammar.
The e-book A Zulu-English Dictionary with Notes on Pronunciation, by A.T. Bryant, 1905, includes notes on grammar and vocabulary of Hlonipha language.
Zulu-English Dictionary, J.W. Colenso (1905)
Lexilogos’ Zulu/English Dictionary
Freelang.net. Download a Zulu/English dictionary or browse it online.
The Language Gulper: Zulu  — an introduction to Zulu, with basic vocabulary & orthography.

Specific Vocabulary

Jason Wolfes English to Zulu Medical Dictionary (contains terms, phrases).

Plants of South Africa(includes images and names of plants in Zulu):

Digital Books

Online Newspapers

Isolezwe is a Zulu language newspaper published daily (Mon. to Fri.) in KwaZulu-Natal.

Online Radio

Ukhozi FM: Zulu radio station broadcasting from Johannesburg.

Podcasts informal lessons/audio

Informal podcast lessons created by a South African woman now living in the U.K. It covers music, poetry, basic grammar, tips and tricks for Zulu clicks.

Zulu Language Learning Sites

Zulu Culture and History


Zulu identities : being Zulu, past and present edited by Benedict Carton, John Laband and Jabulani Sithole.New York:ColumbiaUniversity Press, c2009.
Mugar Library DT 1768 .Z95 Z85 2009

Zulu Culture in and around Boston

South African Partners

a non-profit organization based in Boston, committed to fostering a partnership between the U.S. and South Africa to improve health, education and economic development. South Africa Partners regularly hosts special speakers and events in the Boston area to raise funds and awareness about various initiatives in South Africa.

Tremendous Hearts

their site is currently down, but this is another non-profit based in Boston and they are partnered with a Boston-based South African music group:Matimba ya Ripfumelo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

performs at the Sanders Theater, Harvard University, on a fairly annual basis (usually Feb/March), see box office for details.

Karoo Kafe

South African restaurant, Provincetown, MA.

Open seasonally May – Sept. Karoo Kafe serves “authentic South African food made from scratch using native spices…”

Zulu Art

Zulu Dance

Zulu Music

  • Free streaming music from Matimba ya Ripfumelo. Founded by South African Teboho Moeno, Matimba ya Ripfumelo is Boston’s premier South African ensemble. A combination of traditional African musicians with strong vocalists, Matimba has a uniquely captivating sound. Through their concert engagements, Matimba brings the beauty of South African music and culture to Boston. Matimba also has a mission to help AIDS orphans in South Africa.
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo regularly performs at Harvard University. Check their website for upcoming performances. First made famous by Paul Simon’s Graceland album, they are now respected in their own right. Their music conveys the traditions and culture of South Africa and is called ISICATHAMIYA (Is-Cot-A-Me-Ya).
  • Music Clips of Choirs at Kwasizabantu Mission – Learn the words of some Zulu Choruses.
  • Iscathamiya music performed at Richmond by the ‘Young Zulu Warriors’.
  • Jeppe hostel iscathamiya competition.

Zulu Movies

  • Catch a Fire – a drama about terrorism in South Africa during the apartheid. Based on the true story of Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke), who executed attacks against the regime on his own. Policeman (Tim Robbins) investigates the case. (Review by gazillionmovies.com)
  • Tsotsi – ‘The 19-year-old Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) is living on the streets of Johannesburg. Tsotsi means “gangster” in street language, but his real name and the memories to his past Tsotsi shoves aside. He is very impulsive and violent and many people are frightened of him. Together with some others Tsotsi lives off the street criminality. On a certain evening one of his gang members continues to ask about his past, he beats him up. He flees and robs a woman of her car. There appears to be a three month old baby in the car. The baby brings a careful side up in Tsotsi.’ (Review by gazillionmovies.com)
  • Yesterday – a poignant movie about a young mother coming to terms with the discovery that she is HIV+. (In Zulu with English subtitles.)

Zulu Cuisine

Visit the Karoo Kafe in Provincetown to experience South African Cuisine. If you ask, they’ll even serve you mielie pap and boerewors too!


338 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657-2333.

Phone (508) 487-6630