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Masai Language Facts and Information

Information About Masai Language

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Masai speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Other
Branch: Nilo-Saharan
Continent: Africa
Country: Kenya
Region: Kajiado and Narok districts, Rift Valley Province. Also spoken in Tanzania.
Countries Where Spoken: 453,000 in Kenya (1994 I. Larsen BTL), 1.5% of the population. Population total both countries 883,000. Tanzania.
Countries Where Official: Kenya
Native Speakers: 453,000
Speakers Total: 883,000
Phrasebase members who speak Masai at a native level: 0
Phrasebase members who speak Masai at a conversational level: 0
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Masai: 0
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Masai: 0
Three Letter Code: MET
Alternative Names: MAASAI
Summary: Purko is the largest dialect in Kenya and centrally located. The last three dialects listed are in Tanzania. Kwavi may be a dialect. Purko has 91% to 96% lexical similarity with other Kenya dialects, 82% with Baraguyu, 86% with Arusha in Tanzania, 77% to 89% with Samburu, 82% to 89% with Chamus, 60% with Ngasa (Ongamo). The Kore now speak Somali as first language. Semi-nomadic. VSO. Literacy rate in first language: Below 1%. Literacy rate in second language: 18%. Pastoralists: cattle, goats; agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible 1991.

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