Cal Interpreting & Translations (CIT) offers Bemba interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.

Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Bemba language services including interpretation, translation and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Bemba language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Bemba language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Bemba language, as well as of the culture and history of the Bemba people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

Bemba: People and Language

About 36% of Zambia, or about 3.1 million people, speak the Bemba language. The Bemba people live in the northeastern high plateau of the country, where the area is well watered but the soil is typically poor. Lake Mweru and Lake Bangweulu are well known in the area. Because of the geographic location, the Bemba people are known as forest people.

In Zambia, people speak many languages, which is a common theme in most of Africa. Most Zambians are multi-lingual. Therefore, most speak English in addition to the mother-tongue, Bemba. The education in high school and university is in English, but the national language of Zambia is Bemba.

History of the Bemba

The Bemba people are rich in folklore. There are myths about the origin of their people, with the most popular myth being the Bemba Charter Myth. This myth indicated that in the land of Kola, there were both white and black people. After a fight between the two groups, the white people went to Europe to get rich while the black people stayed and were loyal to their chief, Mukulumpe Mubemba (where the name ‘Bemba’ stems from).

Religion and Major Holidays

The Bemba believe in the high god, Leza, who does not deal with everyday problems and lives in the sky. According to the Bemba, he controls thunder and fertility and is a source of magic power. During colonization in the late 1800s, Christian missionaries moved to Zambia and converted many Bemba to Christianity. Most who practice Christianity also follow the traditions of the Bemba and do not believe there to be any conflicts.

The major holiday of the Bemba is their Independence Day on October 24th, which was an independence from Britain in 1964. Celebrations in all major cities in Zambia mark this momentous occasion by drinking, dancing and singing. The afternoon is usually filled with soccer games.

Fun Facts about the Bemba People

  • In previous times, the most common clothing of the Bemba people was made from bark
  • One cannot marry someone from their own descent group, or clan. However, one can marry a member from their neighboring clan.
  • The most popular food source in Zambia is millet, which is ground into flour.