Zulu /ˈzuːluː/, noma isiZulu wulimi lwabantu base Ningizimu neAfrika abayingxenye yamaNguni. Abantu abakhuluma isiZulu babizwa ngama Zulu.

Isifundazwe saKwaZulu-Natal eNingizimu Afrika lapho isiZulu sikhulunywa kakhulu khona
     0–20%      20–40%      40–60%      60–80%      80–100%

Lalela ke; isiZulu wulimi lwamaZulu. Sikhulunywa abantu bokudabuka abayizigidi eziyishumi nambili (12 million), abatholakala ikakhulukazi esifundazweni sakwaZulu-Natal, eNingizimu Afrika.

IsiZulu yilona lulimi lokudabuka olukhulunywa kunazozonke eNingizimu Afrika (24% yabantu). Ekanti nesigamu (50%) sabantu ezweni siyaluqonda lolulimi[5]. Ngo 1994 isiZulu sabekwa njengolunye lwezilimu eziyishumi nanye (11) ezisemthethweni eNingizimu Afrika.

Ngokosolwazi, isiZulu silandela isiSwahili ngokukhulunywa kakhulu ezilimini zaBantu. Njengazo zonke izilimu zaBantu, isiZulu sibhalwa ngezinhlamvu zesiLatin.

Ngokwe Singisi sase Ningizimu Afrika, lolulimi lubizwa ngendlela yokudabuka kuthiwe "isiZulu".

NgokwezindawoUkuhlela

 
Ukucazwa ngokwezindawo kwabantu abakhuluma isiZulu eNingizimu Afrika: ubuningi babantu bendabuko abakhuluma isiZulu.
     <1 /km2      1–3 /km2      3–10 /km2      10–30 /km2      30–100 /km2      100–300 /km2      300–1000 /km2      1000–3000 /km2      >3000 /km2

Abantu abafudukayo basithatha isiZulu baya naso emazweni angomakhelwane, ikakhulukazi eZimbabwe lapho khona isiNdebele saseNyakatho sisondelene kakhulu nesiZulu.

IsiXhosa, nokungu limi olukhulunywa kakhulu empumalanga Koloni kuthiwa naso - njengolimi lwesiNdebele - sicishe sifane nesiZulu.

UmlandoUkuhlela

AmaZulu, njengamaXhosa kanye namanye amaNguni, sebahlala eNingizimu Afrika isikhathi eside. Ulimi lwesiZulu lunemisindo eminingi eno "qa" no "ca", njengezilimu eziningi zase Ningizimu Afrika, nokungatholakali kwamanye amazwe ase Afrika. Kuyatholakala ukuthi ama Nguni ake ahlala futhi nezinye izinhlanga zaseNingizimu, njengabaThwa njalo njalo.

IsiZulu, njengazo zonke izilimu zokudabuka eNingizimu neAfrika sasingelona ulimi olubhalwayo, lwaze lwaqala ukubhalwa ukufika kwezimishini ziphuma phesheya. Lezimishini zasibhala isiZulu zisebenzisa izinhlamvu zesi Latin. Incwadi yokuqala yesiZulu yashicilelwa eNorway. Ngonyaka ka 1850, ishicilelwa wumumishini wase Norway uHans Schreuder. Ibhuku lokuqala lesiZulu kwaba yibhayibheli elihumushiwe, nelavela ngo 1883. Ngo 1901, uJohn Langalibalele Dube (1871–1946), owayengumZulu wase Natali wavula Ohlange Institute nokwaba yindawo yokuqala yokufunda yabantu bomdabu eNingizimu Afrika.

Uyena futhi uJohn owabhala incwadi ebizwa ngokuthi Insila Kashaka, nokwaba yiNovel yokuqala yesiZulu (1930). Omunye wezingqalabutho zababhali besiZulu kwakungu Reginald Dhlomo, nowabhala ama Novel amaningi omlando ngamakhosi akwaZulu; uDingane (1936), uShaka (1937), uMpande (1938), uCetshwayo (1952) and uDinizulu (1968). Omunye wezingqalabutho zababhali bezincwadi zesiZulu kwakungu Benedict Wallet Vilakazi, kanye no Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali.

Ukubhalwa kolimi lwesiZulu kwakwenganyelwe yiZulu Language Board yakwaZulu-Natal. Lenhlangano yavalwa, yase ilandelwa yiPan South African Language Board, nokuyiyona okwamanje eyengamele zonke izilimu eziyishumi nanye zaseNingizimu Afrika.