The appellation "Nguni" derives from the Nguni cattle type and is sometimes also written isiNguni. It is the collective name for a family of mutually intelligible languages spoken by about a third of the South African population.
Nguni languages are mostly spoken by Nguni people, which are a group of clans and nations living in south-east Africa - hence the term is also applied to the people as a group name.
The languages are a group of Bantu languages spoken in southern Africa including Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Hlubi, Phuthi and Ndebele (both Southern Transvaal Ndebele and Northern Ndebele).
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