The 512 Languages Spoken in Nigeria

According to Ethnologue 512 languages are spoken in Nigeria. There does, however, seem to be some confusion between dialects and languages, which would mean that this number is not set in stone. “Languages” are typically prestigious, official and written, whereas “dialects” are mostly spoken, unofficial and looked down upon. According to linguists ‘if two related kinds of speech are so close that speakers can have a conversation and understand each other, they are dialects of a single language. If comprehension is difficult to impossible, they are distinct languages.’ According to social/political views on classification of languages, ‘”a language is a dialect with an army and a navy”. Speakers of mere “dialects” often refer to their speech as “slang”, “patois” or the like. So do you agree with this list? Are there languages missing? Dialects included as dialects? How do YOU define language?

Here are some of the languages (I am missing about 40):

Abanyom

Abon

Abua

Acipa, Eastern

Acipa, Western

Aduge

Afade

Agatu

Agoi

Agwagwune

Ahan

Ajawa

Ake

Akita

Akpa

Akpes

Akum

Alago

Alege

Alumu-Tesu

Ambo

Amo

Anaang

Anca

Angas

Arabic, Shuwa

Arigidi

Ashe

Asu

Aten

Atsam

Auyokawa

Awak

Ayere

Ayu

Baan

Baatonun

Baangi

Bacama

Bada

Bade

Bakpinka

Bali

Bangwinji

Basa

Basa-Gumna

Basa-Gurmana

Basa-Kontagora

Bata

Batu

Bauchi

Beele

Begbere-Ejar

Bekwarra

Bena

Berom

Bete

Bete-Bendi

Bile

Bina

Biseni

Bitare

Boga

Boghom

Boko

Bokobaru

Bokyi

Bole

Bo-Rukul

Bukwen

Bumaji

Burak

Bura-Pabir

Bure

Buru

Busa

Cara

Che

Cibak

Cinda-Regi-Tiyal

Ciwogai

Cori

Daba

Dadiya

Dass

Defaka

Degema

Dendi

Deno

Dera

Dghwede

Dibo

Dijim-Bwilim

Diri

Doka

Doko-Uyanga

Dong

Dulbu

Dungu

Duwai

Dzodinka

Ebira

Ebughu

Edo

Efai

Efik

Efutop

Eggon

Ehueun

Ejagham

Ekajuk

Eki

Ekit

Ekpeye

Eleme

Eloyi

Emai-Iuleha-Ora

Engenni

Enwang

Epie

Eruwa

Esan

Etebi

Etkywan

Etsako-Yekhee

Etulo

Evant

Fali

Fam

Firan

Fulfulde

Fum

Fungwa

Fyem

Fyer

Gaa

Ga’anda

Gade

Galambu

Gamo-Ningi

Gana

Gbagyi

Gbari

Gbaya, Northwest

Gbiri-Niragu

Geji

Gengle

Gera

Geruma

Gevoko

Ghotuo

Giiwo

Glavda

Goemai

Gokana

Gude

Gudu

Guduf

Gun-Gbe

Gupa-Abawa

Gurmana

Guruntum-Mbaaru

Gwa

Gwamhi-Wuri

Gwandara

Gyem

Ham

Hasha

Hausa

Holma

Hone

Horom

Huba

Hungworo

Hun-Saare

Hwana

Ibani

Ibibio

Ibino

Ibilo

Ibuoro

Iceve-Maci

Idere

Idoma

Idon

Idun

Igala

Igbo

Igede

Iguta

Ijo, Southeast

Ika

Iko

Ikpeshi

Iku-Gora-Ankwa

Ikulu

Ikwere

Ilue

Irigwe

Isekiri

Isoko

Ito

Itu Mbon Uzo

Ivbie North-Okpela-Arhe

Iyayu

Iyive

Izere

Izi-Ezaa-Ikwo-Mgbo

Izon

Izora

Janji

Jara

Jarawa

Jere

Jibe

Jibu

Jidda-Abu

Jilbe

Jimi

Jiru

Jju

Jorto

Ju

Jukun Of Takum

Kaan

Kadara

Kag-Fer-Jiir-Koor-Ror-Us-Zuksun

Kagoma

Kaivi

Kakanda

Kalabari

Kam

Kamantan

Kami

Kamo

Kamwe

Kaningkon-Nindem

Kanufi

Kanuri, Central

Kanuri, Manga

Kapya

Karekare

Karfa

Kariya

Khana

Kholok

Kinuku

Kiong

Kir-Balar

Kirike

Koenoem

Kofa

Kofyar

Kohumono

Koma

Kona

Kono

Koro Ija

Koro Zuba

Korop

Kpan

Kpasham

Kpati

Kubi

Kudu-Camo

Kugama

Kugbo

Kukele

Kulere

Kulung

Kumba

Kupa

Kurama

Kushi

Kutep

Kutto

Kuturmi

Kwa

Kwak

Kwaami

Kyak

Kyenga

Labir

Laka

Lala-Roba

Lamang

Lamja-Dengsa-Tola

Lamnso

Laru

Leelau

Legbo

Lela

Lemoro

Limbum

Lokaa

Longuda

Loo

Lopa

Lubila

Lufu

Luri

Maaka

Mada

Mafa

Maghdi

Mak

Mala

Malgwa-Wandala

Mama

Mambila, Nigeria

Mangas

Marghi Central

Marghi South

Mashi

Mawa

Mbe

Mbembe, Cross River

Mbembe, Tigon

Mboi

Mbongno

Mbula-Bwazza

Mburku

Mijili

Mingang Doso

Mini

Miship

Miya

Mom Jango

Montol

Moo

Mpade

Mumuye

Mundat

Mvanip

Mwaghavul

Nandu-Tari

Nde-Nsele-Nta

Ndoe

Ndola

Ndunda

Ngamo

Nggwahyi

Ngizim

Ngwaba

Ningye

Ninzam

Nkari

Nkem-Nkum

Nkoroo

Nkukoli

Nnam

Numana-Nunku-Gwantu-Numbu

Nungu

Nupe-Nupe Tako

Nyam

Nyong

Nzanyi

Obanliku

Obolo

Obulom

Odual

Odut

Ogbah

Ogbia

Ogbogolo

Ogbronuagum

Okobo

Oko-Eni-Osayen

Okpamheri

Okpe

Okpe-Idesa-Akuku

Oloma

Olulumo-Ikom

Oring

Oron

Oruma

Ososo

Otank

Pa’a

Pe

Pero

Pidgin, Nigerian

Piti

Piya-Kwonci

Polci

Pongu

Putai

Pyapun

Reshe

Ron

Ruma

Samba Daka

Samba Leko

Sanga

Sasaru-Enwan-Igwe

Saya

Sha

Shall-Zwall

Shamang

Shama-Sambuga

Shanga

Shau

Sheni

Shiki

Shoo-Minda-Nye

Shuwa-Zamani

Siri

Somyev

Sorko

Sukur

Sur

Surubu

Tal

Tala

Tambas

Tangale

Tarok

Tedaga

Teme

Tera

Teshenawa

Tha

Tita

Tiv

Toro

Tso

Tula

Tumi

Tyap

Ubaghara

Ubang

Uda

Uhami

Ujijili

Ukaan

Ukpe-Bayobiri

Ukpet-Ehom

Ukue

Ukwa

Ukwuani-Aboh-Ndoni

Ulukwumi

Umon

Uneme

Urhobo

Usaghade

Uvbie

Uzekwe

Vaghat-Ya-Bijim-Legeri

Vemgo-Mabas

Viti

Vono

Vute

Waja

Waka

Wannu

Wapan

Waphan

Warji

Wase

Wom

Xedi

Yace

Yala

Yamba

Yangkam

Yendang

Yeskwa

Yiwom

Yoruba

Yukuben

Zangwal

Zari

Zarma

Zeem

Zhire

Ziriya

Ziziliveken

Zumbun

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The 512 Languages Spoken in Nigeria

Add yours

  1. Hello;
    I would like to ask you for advice or connection regarding language in and around Lagos. Specifically Yoruba and/or Ijo.
    Would you please send me an email so that I can add more detail.
    Thank you in advance and thank you for sharing culture.

    Like

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