Society

What Languages are Spoken in Liberia?

Liberia is a multilingual country, and Liberians of various ethnicities speak more than thirty languages.

More than 30 indigenous languages are spoken in Liberia. However, each of these languages is spoken by only a small percentage of the Liberian population. English is the country’s official language.

Official Language Of Liberia

English is Liberia’s official language and serves as the lingua franca, or common language, that helps connect people of various linguistic backgrounds living in the country.

Liberian English is a variety of English that is spoken in Liberia. There are several varieties of the language spoken in the country including Kru Pidgin English, Liberian Kreyol language, the Merico language, and Caribbean English. The most formal variety is the Standard Liberian English.

Mel Languages Spoken In Liberia

Kissi

The Mel language of Kissi is spoken in some countries of West Africa. There are two dialects of this language. The northern variety is spoken in Sierra Leone and Guinea, whereas the southern variety is spoken in Liberia and also in Sierra Leone.

Mande Languages Spoken In Liberia

Maninka

The Maninka language serves as the mother tongue of the Malinké people. The language is spoken in several African countries including Liberia.

Loma

The Mande language of Loma is spoken by Libera and Guinea’s Loma people. There are several dialects of this language.

Kpelle

The Kpelle people of Africa speak this language. The language is spoken in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Ivory Coast.

Dan

This Mande language is spoken by about 150,000 to 200,000 speakers in Liberia and about 80,000 people in the Ivory Coast. A small population of Dan speakers also live in Guinea.

Mano

The language is spoken by people in north-central Liberia’s Nimba County. It is also spoken in parts of Guinea.

Bandi

The Bandi, also known as the Gbandi language, is spoken by the Gbandi people living in northern Liberia’s Lofa County. The language has six dialects.

Mende

The language is spoken by the Mende people in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Vai

The language is spoken by about 104,000 Vai people living in Liberia and by about 15,500 people in Sierra Leone. It is written in the Vai script and is noted for being one of the few languages of Africa that lack a Latin or Arabic script based writing system.

Kru Languages Spoken In Liberia

Bassa

The language is spoken by the Bassa people of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The language is spoken by about 350,000 people in Liberia.

Dewoin

The Dewoin language is a Kru language of the Niger-Congo family that is spoken by about 8,100 people in Liberia. The language is spoken primarily in the Montserrado County’s coastal areas in western Liberia.

Gbii

The language is spoken in northern Liberia by about 18,600 people (as of 2001). The language has two dialects, Dorue and Gbi.

Glaro-Twabo

Glaro and Twabo are spoken by about 4,300 native speakers in Liberia. They are mutually intelligible dialects belonging to the group of Wee languages.

Glio-Oubi

The language is spoken by about 3,500 people in Liberia. The language is also spoken in the Ivory Coast. In Liberia, the Glio-Oubi language speakers are concentrated in the country’s northeastern region. It is a Kru language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family.

Grebo

The Kru language of Grebo is spoken by people living in Liberia’s extreme southwest, between the Cess and Cavally rivers and the coastal region.

Klao

The Klao language is spoken in Liberia and Sierra Leone and has several dialects. As a Kru language, the Klao belongs to the Niger-Congo language family.

Krahn

The Krahn language, one of the Kru languages, is spoken in Liberia and Ivory Coast. Many speakers of Krahn have adopted English as a second language. There are several variants of this language, like the Western and Eastern Krahn. The former variant is spoken in the Ivory Coast and the Grand Gedeh County of Liberia. The latter variety is spoken in northeast Liberia. As of 1993, Liberia hosts 47,800 speakers of the Western Krahn language and 47,000 speakers of the Eastern Krahn.

Krumen

The language is spoken in Liberia and the Ivory Coast by the Krumen people. The language, a branch of the Grebo languages is a member of the Niger–Congo languages. As of 1993, there were 48,300 speakers of Krumen who spoke one of the varieties of the language such as Tepo, Pye, Plapo, and others.

Kuwaa Language

Also known by other names like Kwaa, Kowaao, and Belle, the language is spoken by the Kuwaa clans residing in northwestern Liberia’s Lofa County. The Kuwaa language is a member of the Niger-Congo language family.

Sapo

A Kru language belonging to the Niger-Congo language family, Sapo is spoken in eastern Liberia, especially in the region’s Sinoe and Grand Gedeh County. The Sapo people living in the region speak this language.

Tajuasohn

The Tajuasohn language is spoken in eastern Liberia’s Sinoe County by five local clans residing in the area. Being a Kru language, Tajuasohn belongs to the Niger–Congo language family. As of 1991, the language had 9,600 speakers.

Gola

The Gola languages, spoken in parts of Eastern Liberia and along the Liberia-Sierra Leone border, is an Atlantic language of the Niger–Congo language family. As of 1989 to 1991, the Gola language is spoken by 110,000 speakers.

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