Berba (Byali)

Berba is a member of the Gur branch of the Niger-Congo language family. It is spoken by about 166,080 people mainly in northern Benin, and also in Burkina Faso and Togo. In Benin there are about 162,000 Berba speakers, particularly in the departments of Atakora, Collines and Donga. There are about 2,580 Berba speakers in Kpendjal prefecture in the Savanes region of Togo, and 1,500 in Kompienga province in the Est region of Burkina Faso.

Berba is also known as Biali, Bialaba, Bieri, Bjerb or Bjeri. Dialects include Dassari, Gouande, Materi, Pingou, Tihoun, Tangeta and Porga.

Berba is written with the Latin alphabet, although very few Berba speakers are literate in their language. It is used on the radio, and there is a Berba translation of the New Testment.

Berba alphabet and pronunciation

Berba alphabet and pronunciation


The high tone is only marked to avoid ambiguity. Other tones are not usually marked.

Download an alphabet chart for Berba (Excel)

Sample video in Berba


Information about the Berba language

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: 15.09.22. Last modified: 15.09.22


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