Tiv (dzwa Tiv)

Tiv is a member of the Tivoid branch of the Southern Bantoid language family. It is spoken by about 4.56 million people mainly in Benue State in the southeast of Nigeria. There are also Tiv speakers in the states of Cross River, Nassarawa, Plateau and Taraba in Nigeria, and in the South West region of Cameroon.

Tiv is the de facto language of provincial identity in Benue state, and is taught in primary and secondary schools. It is written with the Latin alphabet, and there is are translations of parts of the Bible in Tiv.

Tiv was first documented in the mid-18th century. Further studies of the language were undertaken since then. The first grammar of Tiv was published in 1933, and a dictionary was published in 1940.

Tiv alphabet

Tiv alphabet and pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Tiv (Excel)

Sample text in Tiv

I mar maor ken kpan ga, nan ngu a icivir man mbamkpeiyol cii. I na nan mhen man ishima i kaven kwagh; nahan gba keng u nana tema a orgen ken mtem u angbian a angbian.


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 videos in and about Tiv

Information about Tiv | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about Tiv

Bantoid languages

Awing, Bafanji, Bamum, Bamunka, Feʼfeʼ, Ghomalaʼ, Kenswei Nsei, Limbum, Medumba, Mmen, Nso, Oku, Pinyin, Tiv, Vengo

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 09.03.22. Last modified: 10.03.22


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