CIT offers Njanja 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 Njanja 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 Njanja language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Njanja language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Njanja language, as well as of the culture and history of the Njanja people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

The Njanja Language

The Njanja language, also known as Chichewa or Chewa, is spoken in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe by approximately 8 million people. It is part of the Bantu language group. Njanja is the official language of Malawi, along with Enlgish. There are small differences between the Chewa language of Malawi and the Nyanja (or Njanja) language of Zimbabwe. Although there are some differences, they are considered the same language. There is one dialect, however, called Town Nyanja, that is spoken in Lusaka and in parts of Zambia is is quite different from Njanja and Chichewa.

The Chewa people were a branch of the Maravi people. They once lived in the Eastern Province of Zambia along with the northern part of Mozambique. The word “Chewa” was first recorded by a gentleman on an expedition from Tete to the court of King Kazembe, modern day Zambia. Antonio Gamitto, at a young age of 26 was second-in-command of this expedition in 1831. According to Gamitto, these were the people that were ruled by King Undi.

Besides from the few words that Gamitto had put in writing on his expedition in Chewa, a more widespread recording of Chewa was provided by Johannes Bebmann. In 1877, he published a dictionary of the Kinlassa language, which held the recording of the Chewa language. A missionary, Bebmann got his information from a Malawi slave anmed Salimini. The first grammatical guidelines and English-Chinyanja dictionaries were writte in the 1880s by Alexander Riddel. In 1912, the Bible was transalted into the Likoma dialect of Njanja by William Johnson. About a decade later, with the help of Malawians, Dutch missionaries from the Reformed Mission and Church of Scotland translated the bible into a more widespread dialect from the Central Region. In 2016, this version was remodernised.

In 1937, an America, Mark Hanna Watkins, wrote a book titled A Grammar of Chichewa, which was the first book about an African language written by an American. It was a collaboration between a black PhD student and a student from Nyasaland who were studying in Chicago. The young student, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, became the first president of the Republic of Malawi in 1966.

The economy of the Chewa is built mainly on agricululture, with their main crops being corn and sorghum. Additionally, they engage in hunting and fishing. It is typical that a man will engage in polygyny, meaning he will have more than one wife. According to Chewa culture, the mother is very prominent. They follow a matrilineal culture, meaning descent, inheritance and succession are brought down from the mother. Their settlements are inherited as well.