Kanuri (Kànùrí)

Kanuri is a collection of dialects belonging to the Nilo-Saharan language family. There are about 4 million Kanuri speakers in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, and also by some people in Libya and Sudan.

Kanuri is used as a local lingua franca along with Hausa and Arabic. It was written with a version of the Arabic alphabet from about the 17th century, and is currently written with the Latin alphabet. A standardised spelling system based on the Maiduguri dialect and using the Latin alphabet, the Standard Kanuri Orthography, was developed during the 1970s and implemented in 1975.

Kanuri is used as a medium of instruction in primary schools in Nigeria and Niger, and it is possible to study Kanuri up to PhD level.

Kanuri alphabet

Kanuri alphabet

Sample text

Adamgana woso kambe katambo ye daraja-a hakkiwa-ason kalkalye. Hankal-a nazaru-asoro kəzəpkə ye suro hal nəmharamiben kamazasoga letaiyin ye.


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)

Sample video in Kanuri

Information about Kanuri | Numbers


Information about the Kanuri language

Nilo-Saharan languages

Acholi, Alur, Aringa, Ateso, Avokaya, Baka, Bari, Beli, Bongo, Daza, Dholuo, Dinka, Dongotono, Fur, Gumuz, Jur Modo, Kanuri, Karamojong, Keliko, Komo, Lango, Lotuko, Lokoya, Lopit, Lugbara, Maasai, Ma'di, Mandari, Morokodo, Moru, Narim, Nuer, Nobiin, Old Nubian, Olu'bo, Shilluk, Toposa, Turkana, Uduk, Wa'di, Zaghawa, Zarma

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 22.08.23


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