Bench

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A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Dizu, Ghimarra, Gimarra, Gimira
Population

347,000 (2007 census). 150,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,300 Mer (2007 census).

Location

Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), Mizan Teferi area, Shewa Bench towns.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).

Dialects

Bench (Bencho, Benesho), Mer (Mieru), She (Kaba, Sce).

Typology

SOV; tonal, 5 level tones, 1 glide

Language Use

22,640 L2 speakers. Also use Amharic [amh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 12% Amharic. Pilot education project begun in 2008. Radio programs. NT: 1990.
Writing
Ethiopic script, used until 2008. Latin script, used since 2008.
Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.