Goemai is a West Chadic language spoken in Nassarawa and Plateau states in central Nigeria. In 2008 there were about 200,000 Goemai people. It is not known how many of them speak the language. Relatively few children are growing up speak Goemai and there is a shift to Hausa, which is the main language used in education and for official purposes.
Goemai is also known as Ankwai, Ankwe, Ankwei, Gamai or Kemai. There are four main dialects: Duut, East Ankwe, Dorok, and K'wo, which are all mutually intelligible. It is used on the radio, and parts of the Bible have been translated into Geomai. Since 2007 it has been written with a version of the Latin alphabet.
Goemai has several tones, which can be marked as follows: high (é), mid (ē), low (è), falling (ê) and rising (ě). There is some dispute about the number and type of tones, however.
nhàt mp’áng ńdòe p’úús muèp b’yóól nyèb’yóól ńdòe sék muép pé, à góenàng k’óóm tóe mà góenyé yì. ńdòe gòemuààn muààn, dóe p’ét k’á muép, gòng sék múk góe lé gòegòng k’út.
The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveler came along wrapped in a warm cloak. They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveler take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other.
Information about Goemai
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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