Language - Igbo language

Language  >  Igbo language

Igbo language

Igbo (Ásụ̀sụ̀ Ị̀gbò ) is the principal native language of the Igbo people, an ethnic group of southeastern Nigeria. The language has approximately 44 million speakers, who live mostly in Nigeria and are primarily of Igbo descent. Igbo is officially recognized as one of the three major official languages in Nigeria. Igbo is written in the Latin script, which was introduced by British colonialists.

Igbo has over 20 dialects, though dialect levelling appears to be occurring. A standard literary language was developed in 1972 based on the Owerri (Isuama) and Umuahia (such as Ohuhu) dialects, though it omits the nasalization and aspiration of those varieties. Related Igboid languages such as Ika, Ikwerre and Ogba are sometimes considered dialects of Igbo; the most divergent of these is Ekpeye. Igbo is recognized as a major language of Nigeria and also recognized as a minority language of Equatorial Guinea.Other Igbo speaking communities can be found in Brazil, Jamaica, USA, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Sierra Leone, and Ghana.

The first book to publish Igbo words was History of the Mission of the Evangelical Brothers in the Caribbean (Geschichte der Mission der Evangelischen Brüder auf den Carabischen Inseln), published in 1777. Shortly afterwards in 1789, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano was published in London, England, written by Olaudah Equiano, a former slave, featuring 79 Igbo words. The narrative also illustrated various aspects of Igbo life in detail, based on Olaudah Equiano's experiences in his hometown of Essaka. The language was standardized in church usage by the Union Ibo Bible (1916), shortly after completion Thomas John Dennis died in a shipping accident off the Welsh coast, but the Bible manuscript he was working on was reportedly washed ashore and found by a fisherman.

Central Igbo, the dialect form gaining widest acceptance, is based on the dialects of two members of the Ezinihitte group of Igbo in Central Owerri Province between the towns of Owerri and Umuahia in Eastern Nigeria. From its proposal as a literary form in 1939 by Dr. Ida C. Ward, it was gradually accepted by missionaries, writers, and publishers across the region. In 1972, the Society for Promoting Igbo Language and Culture (SPILC), a nationalist organisation which saw Central Igbo as an imperialist exercise, set up a Standardisation Committee to extend Central Igbo to be a more inclusive language. Standard Igbo aims to cross-pollinate Central Igbo with words from Igbo dialects from outside the "Central" areas, and with the adoption of loan words.



The Federal Republic of Nigeria, commonly referred to as Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located. Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.

Nigeria has been home to a number of ancient and indigenous kingdoms and states over the millennia. The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960. It experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential election considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.


Igbo language (English)  Lingua igbo (Italiano)  Igbo (Nederlands)  Igbo (Français)  Igbo (Deutsch)  Língua igbo (Português)  Игбо (Русский)  Idioma igbo (Español)  Język igbo (Polski)  伊博語 (中文)  Igbo (Svenska)  Limba igbo (Română)  イボ語 (日本語)  Ігбо (Українська)  이보어 (한국어)  Igbon kieli (Suomi)  Bahasa Igbo (Bahasa Indonesia)  Igbų kalba (Lietuvių)  Igbo (Dansk)  Igboština (Česky)  Igboština (Slovenčina)  Igbo jezik (Hrvatski)  Igbo valoda (Latviešu)  Tiếng Igbo (Tiếng Việt)