Bench

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A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Dizu, Ghimarra, Gimarra, Gimira
Population

347,000 (2007 census). 14,300 Mer. 150,000 monolinguals. L2 users: 22,600.

Location

Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region: Mizan Teferi area.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).

Dialects

Bench (Bencho, Benesho), Mer (Mieru), She (Kaba, Sce).

Typology

SOV; tonal, 5 level tones, 1 glide.

Language Use

Also use Amharic [amh]. Used as L2 by Sheko [she].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 12% Amharic. Pilot education project begun in 2008. Taught in primary schools as medium of instruction for grades 1–3. Grade 4 materials are being developed. Radio programs. NT: 1990.
Writing

Ethiopic script [Ethi], used until 2008. Latin script [Latn], used since 2008.

Other Comments

Traditional religion.