Chichewa English dictionaryI again draw your attention to the Chichewa/ Chinyanja Dictionary Project. For those who are hearing about it for the very first time, this dictionary has 730 pages and offers more than 35,000 entries into English (CE) and from English (EC). It is the only book of its kind. As such it is an indispensable tool for communication and education in the countries of Africa where the Chewa/ Nyanja language plays a dominant role in speaking, listening, writing and reading.

Dictionaries being printed at AG press in Limbe

Dictionaries being printed at AG press in Limbe

In Malawi, Chichewa is the main language, so it is in the Eastern Province of Zambia. However, Chichewa is also used in parts of Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa. More than 20 million Africans use this language as a vehicle for daily communication. Besides, in their habitats there are many expatriates who struggle with the language barrier. All of them, Africans and foreigners, live in situations of learning and transcultural contacts. That is why they need this dictionary!

The Foundation Heart for Malawi, which produces this dictionary, has found money for the printing of 15,000 copies, and is in the process of raising funds for another print of 15,000 copies. Their main aim is that schools must be provided with the dictionary, i.e. school libraries, teachers and pupils. The pictures show how books have been given freely to school leaders for handing out to their colleagues and pupils.

Chichewa-English Doctionary presentation Part 2

Chichewa-English Doctionary presentation part 1

Chichewa-English Dictionary presentation Part 2

Chichewa-English Dictionary presentation Part 2

In most cases the new CE-EC books replace the older separate CE and EC predecessors that were distributed in the past and have become obsolete. Free distribution to schools requires support by a wider circle of donors and buyers. The project is being financed in the following ways:

1. Financing through Sponsors

Direct grants are a very effective way of helping the project. The present CE-EC book has been funded by the Foundations Liberty, Stéphanos, Werkgroep Zambia, Edukans, Metgezel, Evanaid, Protestants Steunfonds, Share4More, Mr. H.M. Koekoek, and others. In order to strengthen the dictionary project the number of sponsors has to grow. New sponsors are, therefore, very welcome.

2. Financing through Bookshops

The general public can help the project by buying individual copies of the dictionary from bookshops in Malawi and other countries, for example:

  • African Habitat in Blantyre and Lilongwe (grabifem at
  • Anglia Book Distributors in Blantyre and Lilongwe (angliabooks at
  • Bethel Bookshop in Zomba (bethel at
  • Black Label in Belgium (info at
  • Central Africana in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Cape Town (centralafricana at
  • Central Bookshop in Blantyre (sacranie at
  • CLAIM in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and other outlets (maulukavk at
  • Clarke’s Bookshop in Cape Town (books at
  • Kachere in Zomba and other outlets (kachere at
  • Mandala House in Blantyre (info at
  • Maxson’s Bookshop in Limbe (njmaxson at

Retail prices in Africa vary from MK 2,000 to MK 2,500 per book. Postage, if applicable, should be added.

3. Financing by Buying larger quantities

NGO’s, commercial organisations, government offices, hospitals, churches, estates, firms and factories can help the project by buying larger quantities of the dictionary for their partners, members or employees. Here are some examples:

  • Malawian educators of ACEM, in cooperation with the Dutch organisation Edukans, bought and distributed books for 3000 school libraries.
  • A Dutch VSO worker bought 100 dictionaries for teachers in the Mwanza area.
  • An English charity bought 100 books for the library and the Form 4 pupils of St. Anthony’s Secondary School in Thondwe.
  • The Malawian branch of an international mission bought 30 books for its workers.
  • A Dutch missionary in Petauke (Zambia) bought 300 dictionaries for students and pastors.

These examples should be emulated!

Chichewa-English Dictionary presentation Part 3

Chichewa-English Dictionary presentation part 3

Chichewa-English dictionary presentation Part 4

Chichewa-English dictionary presentation Part 4

Quantities of 10 and more copies can be bought directly from the Foundation Heart for Malawi by contacting the Director, Dr. Steven Paas (s.paas at The prices are as follows:

COPIES MK per  copy € per copy
10 – 50 1200 5
51-1000 1000 4
1001 or more 900 3.80

Once you send Dr. Steven Paas an email, he will get back to you with the whole procurement procedure.

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