Gikuyu

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A language of Kenya

Alternate Names
Gekoyo, Gigikuyu, Kikuyu
Population

6,623,000 (2009 census), increasing.

Location

West central, Central Province, Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, and Kirinyaga districts.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Gichugu (Northern Kirinyaga), Mathira (Karatina), Ndia (Southern Kirinyaga), Northern Gikuyu (Northern Murang’a, Nyeri), Southern Gikuyu (Kiambu, Southern Murang’a). Lexical similarity: 73% with Kiembu [ebu], 70% with Gichuka [cuh], 67% with Kikamba [kam], 63% with Kimîîru [mer].

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, social gatherings, business. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Kiswahili [swh] or English [eng].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 30%–60%. Literacy rate in L2: 75%–100%. 95% of the children are in school. Taught in primary schools. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. TV. Videos. Grammar. Bible: 1951–1965.
Writing
Latin script.
Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.