1,870,000, all users. L1 users: 1,630,000 (2016). L2 users: 240,000 (1981 D. Cranmer).
Northern province: Port Loko, Tonkolili, and Bombali districts; west of Sewa river to Little Scarcie; Southern province: northwest Moyamba district; Western Area: Rural district.
2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial working language in Northern province (3 districts), Southern province and Western Area (1 district each) (2004, Article 16(1), Local Government Act).
Banta, Konike, Yoni, Bombali, Western Temne (Pil), Sanda, Ribia, Kholifa, Koya, Masingbi, Malal. People claim to understand all dialects. Lexical similarity: 74% with Masingbi and Malal dialects, 70% with Konike dialect and western varieties.
Latin script [Latn].
Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.