Kiembu

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A language of Kenya

Alternate Names
Embo, Embu
Population

324,000 (2009 census), increasing.

Location

Embu county: southeast of Mount Kenya.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Mbeere (Kimbeere, Mbere), Embu. Mbeere dialect reportedly has intelligibility with Embu. Population estimate may include Gichuka [cuh] and Mwimbi-Muthambi [mws]. Lexical similarity: 85% with the Mbeere dialect, 73% with Gikuyu [kik] and Gichuka [cuh], 66% with Kamba [kam], 63%–65% with Kimîîru [mer].

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, community. All ages. Positive attitudes. Some also use Gikuyu [kik], due to previous teaching in schools, but limited in rural areas. Also use Kimîîru [mer], Swahili [swh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 25%–50%. There are government literacy materials in Kiembu. Bible: 2012.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.

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