Naro language

Naro, also Nharo, is a Khoe language spoken in Ghanzi District of Botswana and in eastern Namibia. It is probably the most-spoken of the Tshu–Khwe languages. Naro is a trade language among speakers of different Khoe languages in Ghanzi District. There exists a dictionary.


Naro has the following consonant inventory, in the IPA of Miller and the orthography of Visser :
Kg and kgʼ only contrast for some speakers: kxʼám "mouth" vs. kʼáù "male". The flap r is only found medially except in loan words. An l is only found in loans, and is generally substituted by medially and initially. Medial and may be and ; they occur initially only in wèé "all, both" and in yèè.
Naro has five vowel qualities, a e i o u, which may occur long , nasalized , pressed , or combinations of these . There are three tones, written á, a, à. Syllables are of the maximal form CVV, where VV is a long vowel, diphthong, or combination of vowel and m, and may take two tones: ' "to see"; ' "to smell". The only consonant that can occur finally is m, except that long nasal vowels such as ãã may surface as . Syllabic /n/ also occurs, as in nna.
Below is an overview of Naro clicks in both orthography and IPA. The dental click is represented by
c. alveolar click by q, palatal click by tc, and lateral click by x''. All examples are from Visser.
cǀcõose 'owl'qǃqaò 'rise 'tcǂtcúú 'head'xǁxòa 'cave'
cgǀχcgàa 'flesh'qgǃχqgóé 'to run'tcgǂχtcgáí 'eye'xgǁχxgóà 'angry'
cg'ǀχʼcg'õè 'name'qg'ǃχʼqg'áó 'neck'tcg'ǂχʼtcg'áì 'sharp, spicy'xg'ǁχʼxg'ari 'to squeeze'
chǀʰcóá 'child'qhǃʰqhàò 'people, tribe, kind'tchǂʰtchàà 'wide'xhǁʰxhãya 'West, Namibia'
c'ǀ̃ˀc'áò 'blood'q'ǃ̃ˀq'óà 'afraid'tc'ǂ̃ˀtc'ubi 'egg'x'ǁ̃ˀx'áà 'light '
dcǀ̬dcoàbà 'spider'dqǃ̬dqàne 'chin'dtcǂ̬dtcìì 'fat 'dxǁ̬dxàí 'cheek'
ncǀ̃nco̱à 'red'nqǃ̃nqàrè 'foot'ntcǂ̃ntcùú 'black'nxǁ̃nxào 'joke'


Naro is a dialect cluster.
and possibly ǂHaba.

Naro Language Project

The Naro Language Project is a project currently being undertaken by the Reformed Church in D'kar that aims to describe and develop an understanding of the Naro language, increase literacy by teaching Naro speakers to read and write their language and translate the Bible into Naro. The project was started in the 1980s. The Naro language project has, as of 2007, translated 70% of the Bible into the Naro language.


Below are Naro numerals, from Visser. Only 'one', 'two', and 'three' are native Naro numerals, while the rest have been borrowed from Nama. Orthography is given first, follows by IPA in brackets and then the tones in parentheses.