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Bushi (Shibushi / Kibushi)

Bushi is a member of the East Barito branch of Malayo-Polynesian languages with about 806,000 speakers (in 1995). It is spoken in northwestern Madagascar in the Antsiranana (Diego-Suarez) and Mahajanga (Majunga) areas. There are also Bushi speakers on Mayotte in the Comorian islands, who make up about 40% of the island's population, or 39,000 people (in 2001).

Bushi is known as Kibushi in Mayotte, or Shibushi in the other local language, Shimaore. Dialects include Kiantalaotse and Kibushi-Kimaore.

Bushi alphabet and pronunciation

This is the offical alphabet introduced by the Conseil de la Culture, de l'Education et de l'Environnement de Mayotte in February 2006. Before then Bushi was written with an informal French-based orthography.

Bushi alphabet and pronunciation


Download a Bushi alphabet chart (Excel)

Sample text in Bushi

Ɓinadamu djabi nitirahinyi an-nafasi, reu bokeu miraŋa amin’ni usheu ndreka haki. Reu teraka ndreka ãkili ndreka hikima, amin’ni zenyi, reu nikulazimu nisi tweraŋa nin-fihavaŋa reu sambi reu.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


Information about Bushi

Malayo-Polynesian languages

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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