Waama is member of the Gur branch of Niger-Congo languages spoken in the south of Atakora Department in northwest of Benin, mainly in the communes of Natingou, Toucountouna, Kouandé and Pehonko. In the year 2000 there were about 50,000 speakers of Waama, which is also known as Yoabou or Yoabu. Waama speakers call themselves Waao or Waaba.

Waama is used in newspapers, on radio and TV and in schools. It is written with a version of the Latin alphabet.

Waama alphabet

Waama alphabet


A tilde (ã) is used to indicate nasal vowels, and a grave accent (à) indicates a low tone.

Download Waama alphabet charts (Excel)

Details provided by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample text in Waama

Yiriba na bà sikindo dare bà mɛɛri, da seena yirimma mii bà ta da i nɛki bà tɔɔba.


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 video in Waama

Information about Waama | Numbers


Information about Waama

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 last modified: 01.07.23


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