A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Barta, Beni Shangul, Bertha, Burta, Jebelawi, Rotana, Wetawit

1,630,000 in Ethiopia (2010 UNSD), increasing. 4,840 Fadashi (2010 UNSD). L2 users: 16,500 in Ethiopia. 99,700 monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 1,826,500 (as L1: 1,810,000; as L2: 16,500).


Benishangul-Gumuz region: Blue Nile river and Sudan border corner north of Asosa; Dalati, Sirba Abay area east of Dabus river; Matahara in eastern Ethiopia.

Language Status

4 (Educational).


Shuru, Bake, Undu, Mayu, Fadashi, Dabuso. Probably more than one language.


SVO; case suffixes, passive, causative; prepositions; tonal.

Language Use

All domains, except for religion (which is in Arabic [arb]). All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Amharic [amh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 10%. Taught in primary schools in grades 1–4 as the medium of instruction, in grades 5–6 as a subject. Dictionary.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

‘Beni Shangul’ is the Arabic name. Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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