A language of Sierra Leone

Alternate Names
Temen, Temne, Timene, Timmannee, Timne

1,230,000 (2006). L2 users: 240,000 (1981 D. Cranmer).


Northern province: Port Loko, Tonkolili, and Bombali districts; west of Sewa river to Little Scarcie; Southern province: northwest Moyamba district; Western Area: Rural district.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication).


Banta, Bombali, Kholifa, Konike, Koya, Malal, Masingbi, Ribia, Sanda, Western Temne (Pil), Yoni. People claim to understand all dialects. Lexical similarity: 74% with Masingbi and Malal dialects, 70% with Konike dialect and western varieties.

Language Use

Primary language of central Sierra Leone. Also use English [eng], Krio [kri]. Used as L2 by Bullom So [buy].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 6%. Taught as an elective from primary to college level. NT: 1868–1992.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.