A language of Papua New Guinea

Alternate Names
Chimbu, Simbu

115,000 (2000 census), increasing. Few monolinguals.


Chimbu province: northern third; Eastern Highlands province: Daulo, Lufa and Unggai-Benna Lufa districts.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication). Major area language used as a trade language for all the other Chimbu languages.


Kuman, Nagane (Genagane, Genogane), Yongomugl.


SOV; clause chaining, auxiliary verbs with adjuncts.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Oral use in local administration, religion, local commerce. All ages. Positive attitudes. Most also use Tok Pisin [tpi]. Some also use English [eng]. Used as L2 by Chuave [cjv], Dom [doa], Golin [gvf], Nomane [nof], Salt-Yui [sll], Sinasina [sst].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 15%. Literacy rate in L2: 35%–40%. Used in first 3 grades in school. 20,000 can read and write Kuman. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2008.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.

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