Benga

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A language of Equatorial Guinea

Alternate Names
Boumba, Ndowe
Population

3,900 in Equatorial Guinea (2011 S. Smith), decreasing. 400 on Corisco Island. Population total all countries: 5,000. 0 monolinguals.

Location

Corisco Island, Rio Muni.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).

Dialects

None known. Related to Batanga [bnm].

Language Use

On Corisco, all domains. Away from Corisco island used more by older generation, fewer youth. Positive attitudes. Also use French [fra] due to trade with Gabon. Almost all also use Spanish [spa].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Only a few dozen read Benga (Scripture). All Ndowe groups use Benga hymnal. Literacy rate in L2: Almost 100%. Poetry. Grammar. NT: 1895.
Writing

Latin script [Latn], used since 1863.

Other Comments

Together with Batanga [bnm] they are called Boumba; Ndowe with Iyassa [yko], One [yko], Mari [yko], Bueko [yko], and Kombe [nui]. A ‘Ndowe’, coastal people. 80% moved to Libreville, Gabon or Bata. Christian, traditional religion.

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