Kikuyu is a Bantu language spoken mainly in the Central Province of Kenya between Nyeri and Nairobi. In 2009 there were about 6.6 million speakers of Kikuyu, and the Kikuyu people (Agĩkũyũ) make up the largest ethnic group in Kenya. There are four mutually intelligible dialects known as Kirinyaga, Muranga, Nyeri and Kiambu.
Kikuyu is also known as Gikuyu or Gekoyo, and the native name for the language is Gĩkũyũ [ɣēkōjó].
Kikuyu is taught in primary schools, and used in literature and newspapers, and on radio and TV. Literature in Kikuyu includes essays, poetry, children's stories and translations by such as authors as Mwangi wa Mutahi, Gatua wa Mbugwa and Waithĩra wa Mbuthia
Kikuyu is written with a version of the African reference alphabet, which was first proposed at a 1978 conference organised by UNESCO.
Kikuyu has two level tones: a low-high rising tone and a downstep.
Hear the Kikuyu alphabet:
Kĩambĩrĩianĩ Ũhoro aarĩ o kuo, na aatũire harĩ Ngai, nake aarĩ o Ngai.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Information about the Kikuyu language
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Page last modified: 23.04.21
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