Definition of Lingala in English:



  • [mass noun] A Bantu language used by over 8 million people as a lingua franca in northern parts of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire).

    • ‘‘I might sing the odd line in English as a kind of nod to the international market, but I don't speak it, so I'll continue to sing in Lingala,’ he tells him.’
    • ‘Based in Dublin and well known in African communities, their lively mix of toe-tapping, hip-swinging music blends French, Lingala and Portuguese.’
    • ‘Soukous is mostly about love - the Lingala word motema, meaning ‘heart,’ is laced throughout the lyrics - but it often veers into politics and the importance of daily events.’
    • ‘Music is mainly of local, Swahili, and Lingala origin, but Western European and American music are also common.’
    • ‘Why is it that a Bantu variety as inflection-wary as English is the brand of Lingala spoken non-natively as a lingua franca?’
    • ‘The younger Kabila, who was raised in neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda and does not speak Lingala, the main language of this part of Congo, did not speak at the service.’
    • ‘Speakers of African language Lingala, Persian language Farsi, Lithuanian and Somali are among those needed.’
    • ‘He can speak French, Lingala - the language of the Republic of Democratic Congo, where he was born - Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati as well as English.’
    • ‘Kabila spent most of his life in exile in Tanzania, where he learned English and Swahili, but neither French nor Lingala, the two most widely spoken languages in Kinshasa.’
    • ‘Chief among them are Kikongo, Lari, Mboshi, and Lingala.’
    • ‘Used by the colonial military in the 1800s as the language of trade and travel, Lingala remains the lingua franca of the region.’
    • ‘With his left hand on the mixer and his right queuing up a cassette player, he produces music and other programmes in French, Lingala and Kiswahili.’
    • ‘Spoken instructions come even in the various dialects of Albanian, Kurdish, and Lingala.’
    • ‘Equally at home singing in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Lingala, and Kincongo, he brings energy, rhythm and excitement to his music.’
    • ‘Contrary to popular belief, the word, ‘Yamakasi,’ isn't Japanese in origin, but comes from the language of Lingala, mostly used in Zaire and Congo.’
    • ‘Having been raised in Uganda speaking English and Swahili, he is essentially a foreigner in a country where the national language is French and the most common indigenous tongue is Lingala.’
    • ‘The reason he was requested to work was because he spoke both Swahili and Lingala and therefore appeared to have some use for the colonel's purposes.’
    • ‘With songs sung in Spanish, French and Lingala and excellent sleeve notes, this album truly celebrates the Afro-Cuban connection.’
    • ‘They alternate between Lingala, French, and Spanish lyrics till they all seem to blend.’
    • ‘Even though several people found it hard to understand the songs sung in Swahili, Lingala and French, they were quiet able to appreciate the harmony and soul-to-soul communication that music brings irrespective of language barriers.’


A local name.