Mende (Mɛnde yia / 𞠗𞢱 𞡓𞠣) Mende (Mɛnde yia)

Mende is a member of the Mande branch of the Niger-Congo language family. It is spoken mainly in Sierra Leone, and also in Liberia, by about 2.1 million people.

In Sierra Leone Mende has about 2 million speakers in Kailahun, Kenema, and Pujehun district of the Eastern province, in Bombali and Moyamba districts in the Northern province, and in interior parts of the Southern Province. Mendeis a statutory provincial working language in the areas where it is spoken, and is taught at all levels of education.

In Liberia there were about 36,000 speakers of Mende in 2015, mainly in Porkpa district of Grand Cape Mount county, and in Vahun district of Lofa county. It is used as a second language by the Vai people.

Mende is also known as Boumpe or Hulo, and the native names for the language are Mɛnde (𞡓𞠣) and Mɛnde yia (𞠗𞢱 𞡓𞠣).

Mende was written with a syllbary known as Kikakui, but is now usually written with the Latin alphabet.

Latin alphabet for Mende

Latin alphabet for Mende

Sample text (Latin alphabet)

Numuvuisia Kpɛlɛɛ ta ti le tɛ yɛ nduwɔ ya hu, tao ti nuvuu yei kɛɛ ti lɔnyi maa hɛwungɔ. Kiiya kɛɛ hindaluahu gɔɔla a yɛlɔ ti hun. Fale mahoungɔ ti ti nyɔnyɔhu hoi kia ndeegaa.


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)

Details compiled by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample video in Mende


Information about Mende

Mande languages

Bambara, Boko, Busa, Dan, Dioula, Kpelle, Loma, Mandinka, Maninka, Mano, Mende, Soninke, Susu, Vai

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 08.05.21


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Note: all links on this site to, and are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.

Get a 30-day Free Trial of Amazon Prime (UK)