English-isiZulu / isiZulu-English Dictionary

Fourth Edition
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Dimensions and Pages: 235 x 136 mm, 1291 pp
  • EAN: 978 1 86814 738 0
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 450.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 44.95

This was the first English-isiZulu / isiZulu-English dictionary published in South Africa, initially undertaken in the 1940s by Wits University lecturers, CM Doke and BW Vilakazi. Vilakazi was the first published poet published in isiZulu and his collection, Amal’eZulu, is considered one of the most significant African books of the twentieth century.

When the English and Zulu Dictionary (Doke, Malcom and Sikakana ) was published in 1958, the compilers intended it as a companion to the Zulu-English Dictionary compiled by Doke and Vilakazi (first published 1948; Second Edition 1953). These two dictionaries have long been recognised as the standard works in their field. The first combined edition with English-Zulu / Zulu-English was published in 1990 and has been in print continuously since then. It remains the definitive dictionary of these languages.

The aim of this dictionary is twofold: to meet the needs of the English speakers who wish to know how to render the English into isiZulu, and to meet the needs of the isiZulu speakers who wish to know the meaning and idiomatic use of English words. Various revisions were undertaken over the years.

A new preface, written by Professor Mzilikazi Khumalo, was added in 1990 and provides an update to the phonological tone markings originally indicated by Vilakazi. Included in this revised edition are the historical prefaces and introduction. These reflect the historical development of the dictionary and have not been altered so as to preserve a sense of continuity.

A newly revised isiZulu orthography has been introduced in this Fourth Edition in line with the approved PanSALB (2008) orthography. The revision of some aspects of the orthography was undertaken under the auspices of the Wits Language School.

This dictionary provides an invaluable resource for students of isiZulu, for isiZulu-speaking students of English, and for linguists working in the isiZulu language.

The present edition has been captured digitally and re-typeset in order to preserve and continue printing this important content.



C. M. Doke was a linguist and Wits University lecturer. D. M. Malcolm was a linguist and so was J. M. A. Sikakana. B. W. Vilakazi was a South African poet, novelist, and Wits University lecturer. Mzilikazi Khumalo is a South African composer, arranger, and choral director, and a professor emeritus of African languages at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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2 Responses to “English-isiZulu / isiZulu-English Dictionary”

  1. Mvuyelwa says:


    Please advise if more words have been added in the new version.

    Thank you

    • Corina says:

      Hi Mvuyelwa, this edition has no new words added, but a newly revised isiZulu orthography has been introduced in this Fourth Edition in line with the approved PanSALB (2008) orthography.