Kissi is a member of the Mel branch of the Atlantic-Congo language family. It is spoken mainly in central and southern Guinea, and also in Sierra Leone. In 2014 there were about 545,000 Kissi speakers in Guinea, in the Faranah and Nzérékoré regions. In the Eastern and Northern provinces of Sierra Leone there were about 52,700 speakers of Kissi in 2016.

Kissi is also known as Northern Kissi, Gizi, Kisi, Kisie or Kissien. It is closely related to Sherbo, a Mel language spoken in Sierra Leone, and more distantly related to Southern Kisi, a Mel language spoken in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Kissi is taught in schools in Guinea, where it is the de facto national language.

Kissi alphabet and pronunciation

Kissi alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Kissi (Excel)

Sample text in Kissi

wanda tu cio ME pilOO o wolOO ni, le waa o ba ndOO cio, o bEElen kenando ni, o tOngdo ni, bEtu nOn yiyando a kullo, o kon ni naan tu dua mim maalyan kalapilOyEyi ni.

Another version of this text:

Wanda tu cio mbɛ pilɔɔ o wolɔɔ ni, le waa o ba ndɔɔ cio, o bɛɛlen kenando ni, o tɔŋdo ni, bɛtu nɔn yiyando a kullo, o kon ni naan tu dua mim maalyan kalapilɔyɛyi ni.


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 Kissi


Information about the Kissi language

Atlantic-Congo languages

Abua, Bandial, Bariba, Berom, Cebaara, Efik, Esimbi, Ibibio, Iceve-Maci, Jibu, Jju, Kambari, Kar, Kissi, Kom, Laalaa, Limba, Mbum, Mono, Mundang, Nafanan, Noon, Obolo, Safen, Supyire, Temne, Ubang, Yemba

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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