A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Churi, Dhuri, Eastern Suri, Shuri, Shuro, Surma

26,900 (2007 census), increasing. 18,700 monolinguals.


Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region: Bench-Maji zone, toward Sudan border; west of Mizan Teferi.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).


Chai (Caci, Cai), Tirmaga (Cirma, Dirma, Terema, Terna, Tid, Tirima, Tirma, Tirmagi). Lexical similarity: 81% with Mursi [muz].



Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Amharic [amh]. Used as L2 by Kacipo-Balesi [koe].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Below 5%. After-school Suri literacy classes teach some school subjects in Suri. Taught in primary schools as a subject in grades 1–2. Grade 3 is being developed. Radio programs. Dictionary. Bible portions: 2007–2010.

Ethiopic script [Ethi], used until 2009. Latin script [Latn], used since 2009, official usage.

Other Comments

‘Suri’ is an ethnonym for speakers of the Tirmaga, Chai and Baale (see Kacipo-Balesi) speech varieties. Tirmaga and Chai speakers can understand each other, but Baale [koe] is a separate language (Dimmendaal and Yigezu 1998). Dama is the Me’en [mym] name for Suri. Traditional religion, Christian.