Sukuma

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A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Kisukuma
Population

5,430,000 (2006), increasing.

Location

Northwest, mainly Shinyanga and Mwanza regions, also in Kagera, Tabora, and Singida regions; some in Kigoma and Mara regions; between Lake Victoria and Lake Rukwa, extending to Serengeti plain, Kiya, Gwe; few in cities, 88% in the traditional area.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Gwe (Kemunangweeli, Kigwe), Kemunadakama, Kiya (Kiiya), Nasa, Nelaa, Ntuzu, SumaaBu. Dialects contiguous with Nyamwezi and mutually intelligible along the border of the two people groups. Lexical similarity: 84% with Nyamwezi [nym], 59% with Sumbwa [suw] and Nyaturu [rim], 57% with Kimbu [kiv], 55% with Nilamba [nim], 49% with Langi [lag].

Language Use

Vigorous. Known for vigorous use of L1. All ages. Very positive attitudes. Also use Swahili [swh]. Used as L2 by Zinza [zin].

Language Development
Some literacy work. Poetry. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1960.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.