Language of the Day for 11 July 2019


Fon [fon]

A language of
Population Full
2,000,000 in Benin (2018). Total users in all countries: 2,067,900.
3 (Wider communication). Used in early 17th century in the Fon kingdom of Dahomey (now Benin). Used as slave trade language in 18th century with arrival of European colonizers. After slave trade ended in 1848, became widespread in Southern Benin, Southwest Nigeria and Togo.
Language Use
Vigorous. Administration, education, religious services, commerce, and labor. Positive attitudes. Also use French [fra]. Used as L2 by Aguna [aug], Ayizo Gbe [ayb], Ci Gbe [cib], Eastern Xwla Gbe [gbx], Ede Idaca [idd], Ede Ije [ijj], Gbesi Gbe [gbs], Gun [guw], Kotafon Gbe [kqk], Maxi Gbe [mxl], Saxwe Gbe [sxw], Tchumbuli [bqa], Tofin Gbe [tfi], Weme Gbe [wem], Western Xwla Gbe [xwl], Xwela Gbe [xwe].
Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 10%. 10% can read Fon, 7% can write it. Taught in primary schools in small-scale multilingual education program since 2013. Literature. Newspapers. Periodicals. Radio. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. Bible: 2014.