A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Shak, Shako, Shekka, Shekko, Tschako
S’oku noogu

43,820, all users. L1 users: 38,900 (2007 census). L2 users: 4,920. 13,600 monolinguals (1994 census). Ethnic population: 37,600 (2007 census).


Southeast Gambela region: southeast; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region: Bench-Maji zone.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).


Sheko, Tepi, Guraferda. Distinct from Shabo [sbf] and Shekkacho [moy].


SOV; adjectives, demonstratives and numerals usually follow head noun, modifying nouns and genitives usually precede head noun; affixes indicate case of noun phrases; verb morphology indicates aspect, mood and stance; verbal clitics mark person, number and gender of subject; passive, causative and middle verb derivations, and reciprocal built of causative and middle; tonal (4 tones); sibilant harmony; syllabic nasal.

Language Use

Home, religion, community. Also use Amharic [amh], Bench [bcq].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 16%. Taught in primary schools as medium of instruction for grades 1–4 and as subject for grades 1–8. Kindergarten medium of instruction is piloted. Radio. Grammar.


Latin script [Latn], used since 2009.

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.

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