A language of Cameroon

Alternate Names
Mangisa, Mengisa-Njowe

20,000 (1979 SIL), decreasing.


Center Region, Lekie division, Sa’a subdivision, Sanaga river bend area between the river and Sa’a.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Leti, Njowe. High exposure to and 97% intelligibility of Ewondo [ewo]. But Ewondo speakers have only 46% with Mengisa. The Mangisa people speak 2 languages: the Mengisa Njowi dialect, spoken daily, and Leti [leo], a secret language of tradition. Eton [eto], the A70 variety most similar to Mengisa (Njowe) is 90% cognate with Mengisa, but a lower comprehension level (91%) (Hatfield 1990). Lexical similarity: 90%–91% with Eton [eto], 81%–97% with Ewondo [ewo] (Risnes 1989). Mengisa Njowe is considered an A70 language with Ewondo and others, while Leti [leo] is considered an A60 language (possibly A64).

Language Use

Children losing L1 capability, even in the village. Home, with other Mengisa, markets. All ages. Neutral attitudes. Many Mengisa deplore L1 loss in their children, but haven’t acted to retain it.

Language Development
No literacy program in place. Radio programs.
Latin script, in development.
Other Comments

The Mangisa people speak 2 languages: the Mengisa (Njowi dialect), spoken daily, and Leti [leo]. Christian, Muslim.