Turkana (ŋa-tùrkwanà / Ng'aturkana)

Turkana is a member of the Eastern Nilotic branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family. It is spoken mainly in Turkana County in the northwest of Kenya along the west shore of Lake Turkana, and also in Samburu County to the south of Lake Turkana. In 2009 there were about 989,000 speakers of Turkana, about half of whom are monolinguals.

Turkana is also known as Buma, Bume or Turkwana. There are two dialects: Northern Turkana and Southern Turkana. Turkana is mutually intelligible with Toposa, which is spoken in the southeast of South Sudan. It is also closely related to Karamojong, Jie and Teso, Eastern Nilotic languages spoken in Uganda, and to Nyangatom, which is spoken in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Turkana alphabet and pronunciation

Turkana alphabet and pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Turkana (Excel)

Sample text

Kolong eringa ngakwapin nyesubakina, ayei Akiroit, arukito Akiroit ngina ka Akuj, nabo arai Akiroit ngina Akuj. Arukito Akiroit ka Akuj napei kolong anakisiakinet. Asubi Akuj ibore daang anikeng, emam ibore tani ipei ni asubio emam ngesi.


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Source: https://www.language-museum.com/encyclopedia/t/turkana.php

Sample videos in Turkana


Information about Turkana

Nilo-Saharan languages

Acholi, Alur, Aringa, Ateso, Avokaya, Baka, Bari, Beli, Bongo, Daza, Dholuo, Dinka, Dongotono, Fur, Gumuz, Jur Modo, Kanuri, Karamojong, Keliko, Komo, Lango, Lotuko, Lokoya, Lopit, Lugbara, Maasai, Ma'di, Mandari, Morokodo, Moru, Narim, Nuer, Nobiin, Old Nubian, Olu'bo, Shilluk, Toposa, Turkana, Uduk, Wa'di, Zaghawa, Zarma

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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