Arabic, Sudanese Creole


A language of South Sudan

Alternate Names
Juba Arabic, Pidgin Arabic, Southern Sudan Arabic
Arabi Juba

820,000, all users. L1 users: 20,000 (1987). With the rapidly changing demographic situation it is very difficult to know the number of L1 or L2 speakers and whether these numbers are increasing or decreasing. L2 users: 800,000 (2013 SIL).


Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, and Western Equatoria states: widespread, into Northern Bahr al Ghazal, Western Bahr al Ghazal, and Upper Nile states.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication). Used as L1 or L2 in Juba and other towns in Greater Equatoria region. As a creole and lingua franca, this language varies enormously in form from place to place, and from speaker to speaker (depending on subject matter and interlocuter), and is changing rapidly.


Dialectal variations in different areas due to different local vernaculars. A member of macrolanguage Arabic [ara].



Language Use

Major language of communication in Greater Equatoria region, and south of Wau and Malakal. Most domains except very formal situations; also used in government. Used by all.

Language Development

Taught in primary schools, informally. Taught in secondary schools, informally. Literature. Radio. TV. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1983–1985.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

The sociolinguistic situation is changing rapidly with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese from the North, speaking Sudanese Colloquial Arabic [apd], and others from East Africa and the rest of the world, mainly speaking English [eng].

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