A language of Ghana

Alternate Names
Frafra, Gurene, Gurenne, Gurune, Nankani, Ninkare

820,000 in Ghana (2003), increasing. Up to 656,000 in Upper East region, and at least 164,000 in various towns and cities in other regions (2003). Population total all countries: 845,100.


Upper East region: Bolgatanga area, Frafra district, west to Navrongo. Northeast.

Language Maps
Language Status

2 (Provincial). De facto provincial language in Upper East Region.


Booni, Gurune (Gudeni, Gudenne, Gurenne, Zuadeni), Nabt (Nabdam, Nabde, Nabdug, Nabit, Nabnam, Nabrug, Nabte, Namnam), Nankani (Naani, Nankanse), Talni (Talene, Talensi). 5 major dialects and many minor ones. Dialects are divided according to geography and ethnic sub-boundaries. Some named after towns or localities. Consider Southern Dagaare [dga] in particular a sister language.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Also use English [eng]. Used as L2 by Mampruli [maw].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 5%–15%. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Radio programs. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 2008.

Latin script [Latn], used since 1975.

Other Comments

Ethnonym: Talensi. Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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