Southern Birifor (Birfoɔr)

Southern Birifor is member of the Gur branch of Niger-Congo languages. It is spoken by about 183,000 people in Ghana, particularly in the Wa West District in the Upper West Region, and in the Northern Region. There are also about 4,310 speakers of Southern Birifor in the Zanzan district in the northeast of Côte d'Ivoire.

Southern Birifor is also known as Berfoɔr, Birifo, Birifor, Bɩrfʊɔr, Ghana Birifor or Lobi. Native speakers call it Birfoɔr. It is closely related to Malba Birifor, which is spoken in Burkina Faso.

The Latin alphabet has been used to write Southern Birifor since 2004, although few speakers of Southern Birifor are literate. There is some written material in the language, including a translation of the Bible, and it is used on the radio in Ghana.

Southern Birifor alphabet and pronunciation

Southern Birifor alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Southern Birifor (Excel)

Sample text (The Lord's Prayer - Luke 11: 2-4)

  1. A wʊ 'yɛr kʊ ba, “Yɩn ma wa sʊɔrɔ a Nãaŋmɩn yɩ 'yɛr, Sɩ Sãa, sɩ kʊ naa a fʊ yuor tɩɩr. A fʊ nãalʊ̃ʊ wʊ wa.
  2. Na fʊ kʊ sɩ a sɩ bɩbir jaa bʊ̃diir.
  3. Vɛ̃ a sɩ maal dɛbɛ bar, bojũu sɩ mɩ vɛ̃n kʊ a bala jaa na maal sɩ a dɛɛr. Ta sɔɔ ka bɛɛr kaa nyɔɔ sɩ ɛ.”



  1. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
  2. Give us day by day our daily bread.
  3. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.


Some material provided by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample video in Southern Birifor


Information about Southern Birifor

Gur languages

Berba, Birifor (Northern), Birifor (Southern), Dagaare, Dagbani, Frafra, Gourmanchéma, Kabiye, Kasem, Konkomba, Kusaal, Láá Láá Bwamu, Mampruli, Moba, Mossi, Paasaal, Safaliba, Sisaali, Tammari, Tem, Tumulung Sisaala, Turka, Waama, Western Sisaala

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 29.08.22. Last modified: 07.03.23


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