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Arabic, Chadian Spoken

A language of Chad

ISO 639-3shu

Population  896,000 in Chad (2006), increasing. Population total all countries: 1,139,000.
Region  Salamat, Ouaddaï, Wadi Fira regions, Batha region center and west, much of Chari-Baguirmi; Mayo-Kebbi; north Tandjilé; Guéra. Also in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Niger, Nigeria.
Language maps  Chad, reference number 8
Southwestern Chad, reference number 8
Alternate names   Arabe Choa, Chad Arabic, Chadian Arabic, Chowa, L’arabe du Tchad, Shua, Shua Arabic, Shuwa Arabic, Suwa
Dialects  Dialects depend on whether their speakers are sedentary or nomads, rural or urban, and on migration routes. A pidginized variety, commonly called ‘Bongor Arabic’, is spoken as L2 by many in the Mayo-Kebbi and other parts of south Chad.
Classification  Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic
A member of macrolanguage Arabic [ara] (Saudi Arabia).
Language use  Language of wider communication. Positive attitude.
Language development  Primary school program by gtz-Education. ELN and PARSET. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1967–1991.
Writing system  Arabic script. Latin script.
Comments  ‘Shuwa Arabic’ is the name used in other countries for the dialect near Lake Chad. Muslim.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Arabic, Shuwa
Population  75,000 in Cameroon (2007).
Region  Far North Province, Mayo-Sava, Diamare, Mayo-Danay, and Logone-and-Chari divisions; mostly between Lake Chad and Kousseri, with pockets south of Kousseri.
Language map  Northern Cameroon, reference number 2
Alternate names  Arabe Choa, Chadian Spoken Arabic, Choa, Shoa Arabic, Shoa, Shua
Language use  Trade language.
Comments  Muslim.


Language name   Arabic, Shuwa
Population  5,000 in Niger (1998).
Region  East.
Language map  Niger
Alternate names  Arabe Choa, Chadic Arabic, Shua, Shuwa Arabic
Comments  Muslim.


Language name   Arabic, Shuwa
Population  100,000 in Nigeria (1973 SIL).
Region  Borno state, Dikwa, Konduga, Ngala, and Bama LGAs, widespread across Borno and Yobe states following transhumance (livestock movement).
Language map  Nigeria, Map 4, reference number 212
Alternate names  Arabe Choa, Chadian Arabic, Shua Arabic, Shuwa
Language use  Trade language.
Comments  The term ‘Shua’ is considered perjorative by some people. Muslim.