It is one of the wonders of God’s creation that each language has its own unique patterns and grammar. Even if the language has not yet been written down, the patterns are still there. A native speaker uses those patterns correctly in all their complexity, although he may not yet be aware of them or be able to explain them. The Mbembe language is no exception. It is a rich language, full of interesting patterns in the sounds and in the grammar, and with a wealth of vocabulary reflecting the life and culture of the people.
It is the aim of this dictionary to record something of this wealth so that it can be appreciated both by mother tongue speakers of Mbembe and by others. We hope that the dictionary will also serve a practical purpose in establishing the written form of the language, and in helping Mbembe speakers to improve their knowledge and understanding of English as well as of their own language.
This is an excerpt from a compilation by Ebinda Oyama and Katharine Barnwell