Arabic, Sudanese Creole


A language of South Sudan

Alternate Names
Juba Arabic, Pidgin Arabic, Southern Sudan Arabic

20,000 (1987). With the rapidly changing demographic situation it is very difficult to know the number of 1st or 2nd language speakers and whether these numbers are increasing or decreasing. L2 users: 800,000 (2013 SIL). Many groups in South Sudan have some L2 speakers (2013 SIL).


Central Equatoria, East Equatoria, West Equatoria states: widespread, into North Bahr al Ghazal, West Bahr al Ghazal and Upper Nile states.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication).Used as L1 or L2 in Juba and other towns in Equatoria. As a creole and lingua franca, this language varies enormously in form from place to place, and from speaker to speaker (depending on subject matter and interlocuter), and is changing rapidly.


Dialectal variations in different areas due to different local vernaculars. A member of macrolanguage Arabic [ara].



Language Use

Major language of communication in Equatoria, and south of Wau and Malakal. Most domains except very formal situations; also used in government. All ages.

Language Development
Taught in primary schools, informally. Taught in secondary schools, informally. Poetry. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1983–1985.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

The sociolinguistic situation is changing rapidly with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese from the North, speaking Sudanese Colloquial Arabic [apd], and others from East Africa and the rest of the world, mainly speaking English [eng].