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Temne Language Facts and Information

Information About Temne Language

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Temne speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Niger-Congo
Branch: West Atlantic
Continent: Africa
Country: Sierra Leone
Region: Northern Province, west of Sewa River to Little Scarcie.
Countries Where Spoken: 1,200,000 first language speakers, or 29.8% of the population (1989 J. Kaiser TISLL). 240,000 second language users (1981 D. Cranmer).
Countries Where Official: Sierra Leone
Native Speakers: 1,200,000
Speakers Total: 1,200,000
Phrasebase members who speak Temne at a native level: 0
Phrasebase members who speak Temne at a conversational level: 0
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Temne: 0
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Temne: 0
Three Letter Code: TEJ
Summary: The people claim to understand all dialects. Lexical similarity between Masingbi and Malal is 74%; between Konike and western varieties 70%. 25% use Krio, 5% use English as second language. A number of monolinguals. Used as a second language in parts of neighboring tribes. The primary language of central Sierra Leone. Trade language. Literacy rate in second language: 6%. Taught as an elective from primary to college level. Agriculturalists: rice. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. NT 1868-1955.

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