A language of Kenya

Alternate Names
Kavirondo Luo, Luo, Nilotic Kavirondo

4,044,000 in Kenya (2009 census), increasing. Total users in all countries: 4,184,000.


Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, and Migori counties; northern Nyamira and Kisii counties; Busia and Kakamega counties: border areas. Kavirondo Gulf area.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


SVO; verb affixes mark person, number, object; tense; 26 consonant and 5 vowel phonemes; tonal (4 tones: high, low, falling, rising); vowel harmony (ATR).

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, community. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Swahili [swh]. Used as L2 by Suba [sxb].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 10%–30%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. Taught in primary schools. New media. Radio programs. Films. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1953–1977.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Different from Luwo [lwo] (Luo, Jur Lwo) of South Sudan. The people are Luo; the language is Dholuo. Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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