21st Edition



A language of Equatorial Guinea

Alternate Names
Pahouin, Pamue, Pangwe

624,000 in Equatorial Guinea, all users. L1 users: 589,000 (2013 S. Smith), increasing. L2 users: 35,000 (2013 S. Smith). Total users in all countries: 1,106,100 (as L1: 1,071,100; as L2: 35,000).


Widespread. Centro Sur, Kié-Ntem, Litoral, Wele-Nzas provinces.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication). De facto language of national identity. Used as LWC in continental Equatorial Guinea (the area previously known as Rio Muni). Used in church, market, business, media, and music. It became a LWC by virtue of its dominant status as mother tongue of 85% of the country’s population.


Ntumu, Okak. Intelligible with Bulu [bum] and Ewondo [ewo] in the Beti language subgroup. More similar to Bulu [bum] than Ewondo [ewo].

Language Use

All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Some also use French [fra]. Also use Equatorial Guinean Pidgin [fpe], Spanish [spa]. Used as L2 by Bube [bvb], Equatorial Guinean Pidgin [fpe], Fa d’Ambu [fab], Kombe [nui], Kwasio [nmg].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Few read Fang. Literacy rate in L2: 77% in Spanish [spa]. Literature. Radio. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2014.

Latin script [Latn], used since 1995.

Other Comments

Known as warriors of the jungle. Their knowledge of jungle plants, animals, and survival is legendary. Christian, traditional religion.

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