Know the 520 local languages in Nigeria and their states — Nigerian Pilot News
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Know the 520 local languages in Nigeria and their states



Nigeria is the giant of Africa, with about 520 unique languages from it’s different state, although the official language of Nigeria is English, but one need not neglect his cultural language.

According to official data,there are more than 520 Nigerian languages spoken, nine of them are extinct, some like  Hausa, Urhobo, Fulfulde, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Edo, and Kanuri have most of the speakers in Nigerian states.

However, Most spoken languages in Nigeria used for communications are:

1.Hausa In the meantime, is the most common language in Nigeria. It is also often associated with the Islamic culture. According to the electronic edition of Ethnologue – 1991 SIL, for 18.5 million of Nigerians Hausa is the first language and 15 million speak this Nigerian language as the second, Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, and Gombe states are main areas that speak the Hausa language.

2. Igbo More than 24 million people in Nigeria use the Igbo language for daily communication. Citizens of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states use the Igbo language as their first language.

3. Yoruba The Yoruba language is now spoken by about 21 million people (18.9 million – the first language and 2 million as second) in Nigeria. The Yoruba language is a major language in Nigeria. The main areas that speak this language are Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, and Lagos states and some parts of Kogi State.

Yoruba is also widely spoken outside Nigeria. Same as the Igbo language, it is so widespread abroad due to Nigerian immigrants in the UK and the USA. This makes the Yoruba language the top most spoken Nigerian language in the world.

4. Fulfulde It is spoken by the Fulani diaspora in Northern Nigeria and cattle pastorals across the Sahel. 11.5 million Nigerians speak this language (2000) and the number is increasing ( 340,000 in Sokoto). The language is spoken in daily communication particularly in Kano, Katsina, Jos plateau, Bororo, Zaria, Maiduguri, Sokoto states.

5. Kanuri One of the most spoken languages in Nigeria is Kanuri. More than 3 million people consider Kanuri to be their first language and now Kanuri is spoken mostly in Borno, Gombre, Yobe, and Jigawa States. However, there are also about 500,000 people, who although do not speak Kanuri every day but use it as a second language occasionally.

6. Ijaw This language has a few different dialects. More than 2 million people in Delta, Ondo Bayelsa, and Ekiti states speak it. Egbema, Ikibiri Arogbo, and West Tarairi languages are considered to be this language’s dialects.

7. Pidgin English Have you heard anything about this type of English? Pidgin English is a blend of English and ethnic Nigerian languages. These days, there about 30 million speakers in Nigeria and the Pidgin language is mostly spoken in the Niger Delta region.

8. Tiv It is however, another major and at the same time minor language in Nigeria. About 2 million people in Nigeria speak this language, mainly in Benue State. Moreover, the language is widespread in Plateau, Nassarawa, and Taraba states.

9. Ibibio 1.5 million native speakers who consider this language as their first, while 4.5 million of Nigerians speak Ibibio as the second language. They are all mostly located in Akwa Ibom State but the speakers can be found in Abia, Rivers, and Cross River states. Aside from English, the Ibibio language is also taught in primary and secondary schools. Also, the local language of Akwa Ibom state is used for broadcasting on radio and television programs.

10. Edo Last, but not least – the Edo language and its 1 million native speakers. They live mostly in Edo State. There is a lack of common language in Edo state, so from time to time some efforts are put by the government to regulate the situation. Edo language is also spoken in Ondo and Delta states.

Other Nigerian Languages are:

Abanyom Cross River
Abon Taraba
Abua Rivers
Abureni Bayelsa
Achipa Kebbi
Adim Cross River
Aduge Anambra
Adun Cross River
Afade Borno, Yobe
Afo Plateau
Afrike Cross River
Gbo Cross River
Ajawa Bauchi
Akaju-Ndem Cross River
Akweya-Yachi Benue
Alago Plateau
Amo Plateau
Anaguta Plateau
Anang Akwa lbom
Andoni Akwa lbom, Rivers
Angas Bauchi, Jigawa, Plateau
Ankwei Plateau
Anyima Cross River
Arabic Borno by Baggara Arabs
Attakar Kaduna
Auyoka Jigawa
Awori Lagos, Ogun
Ayu Kaduna
Babur Adamawa, Bomo, Taraba, Yobe
Bachama Adamawa
Bachere Cross River
Bada Plateau
Bade Yobe
Bahumono Cross River
Bakulung Taraba
Bali Taraba
Bambora Bauchi
Bambuko Taraba
Banda Taraba
Banka Bauchi
Banso Adamawa
Bara Bauchi
Barke Bauchi
Baruba Niger
Bashiri Plateau
Basa Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Plateau
Batta Adamawa
Baushi Niger
Baya Adamawa
Bekwarra Cross River
Bele (Buli, Belewa) Bauchi
Betso (Bete) Taraba
Bette Cross River
Bilei Adamawa
Bille Adamawa
Bina (Binawa) Kaduna
Bini Edo
Birom Plateau
Bobua Taraba
Boki (Nki) Cross River
Bkkos Plateau
Boko (Bussawa, Bargawa) Niger
Bole (Bolewa) Bauchi, Yobe
Botlere Adamawa
Boma (Bomawa, Burmano) Bauchi
Bomboro Bauchi
Buduma Borno, Niger
Buji Plateau
Buli Bauchi
Bunu Kogi
Bura Adamawa
Burak Bauchi
Burma (Burmawa) Plateau
Buru Yobe
Buta (Butawa) Bauchi
Bwall Plateau
Bwatiye Adamawa
Bwazza Adamawa
Challa Plateau
Chama (Chamawa Fitilai) Bauchi
Chamba Taraba
Chamo Bauchi
Chibok (Chibbak) Yobe
Chinine Borno
Chip Plateau
Chokobo Plateau
Chukkol Taraba
Cipu Kebbi, Niger
Daba Adamawa
Dadiya Bauchi
Daka Adamawa
Dakarkari Niger, Kebbi
Danda (Dandawa) Kebbi
Dangsa Taraba
Daza (Dere, Derewa) Bauchi
Degema Rivers
Deno (Denawa) Bauchi
Dghwede Borno
Diba Taraba
Doemak (Dumuk) Plateau
Ouguri Bauchi
Duka (Dukawa) Kebbi
Duma (Dumawa) Bauchi
Ebana (Ebani) Rivers
Ebirra Edo, Kogi, Ondo
Ebu Edo, Kogi
Efik Cross River
Egbema Rivers
Igede (lgede) Benue
Eggon Plateau
Egun (Gu) Lagos,Ogun
Ejagham Cross River
Ekajuk Cross River
Eket Akwa Ibom
Ekoi Cross River
Engenni (Ngene) Rivers
Epie Rivers
Esan (Ishan) Edo
Etche Rivers
Etolu (Etilo) Benue
Etsako Edo
Etung Cross River
Etuno Edo
Palli Adamawa
Pulani (Pulbe) Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa , Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi , Niger, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe
French Bordering states of Nigeria
Fyam (Fyem) Plateau
Fyer(Fer) Plateau
Ga’anda Adamawa
Gade Niger
Galambi Bauchi
Gamergu Borno
Qanawuri Plateau
Gavako Borno
Gbedde Kogi
Gengle Taraba
Geji Bauchi
Gera (Gere, Gerawa) Bauchi
Geruma (Gerumawa) Plateau
Geruma (Gerumawa) Bauchi
Gingwak Bauchi
Gira Adamawa
Gizigz Adamawa
Goernai Plateau
Gokana (Kana) Rivers
Gombi Adamawa
Gornun (Gmun) Taraba
Gonia Taraba
Gubi (Gubawa) Bauchi
Gude Adamawa
Gudu Adamawa
Gure Kaduna
Gurmana Niger
Gururntum Bauchi
Gusu Plateau
Gwa (Gurawa) Adamawa
Gwamba Adamawa
Gwandara Kaduna, Niger, Plateau
Gwari (Gbari) Kaduna, Niger, Plateau
Gwom Taraba
Gwoza Borno
Gyem Bauchi
Hausa Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna,Kano, Kastina, Kebbi, Niger,Taraba, Sokoto
Higi (Hig) Borno, Adamawa
Holma Adamawa
Hona Adamawa
Hyam (Ham, Jaba, Jabba) Kaduna
Ibeno Akwa lbom
Ibibio Akwa lbom
Ichen Adamawa
Idoma Benue, Taraba
Igalla Kogi
lgbo Abia, Anambra, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi,Enugu, Imo, Rivers
ljumu Kogi
Ikorn Cross River
Irigwe Plateau
Isoko Delta
lsekiri (Itsekiri) Delta
lyala (lyalla) Cross River
Izere Plateau
lzondjo) Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo, Rivers
Jahuna (Jahunawa) Taraba
Jaku Bauchi
Jara (Jaar Jarawa Jarawa-Dutse) Bauchi
Jere (Jare, Jera, Jera, Jerawa) Bauchi, Plateau
Jero Taraba
Jibu Adamawa
Jidda-Abu Plateau
Jimbin (Jimbinawa) Bauchi
Jirai Adamawa
Jonjo (Jenjo) Taraba
Jukun Bauchi, Benue,Taraba, Plateau
Kaba(Kabawa) Taraba
Kadara Taraba
Kafanchan Kaduna
Kagoro Kaduna
Kaje (Kache) Kaduna
Kajuru (Kajurawa) Kaduna
Kaka Adamawa
Kamaku (Karnukawa) Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger
Kambari Kebbi, Niger
Kambu Adamawa
Kamo Bauchi
Kanakuru (Dera) Adamawa, Borno
Kanembu Borno
Kanikon Kaduna
Kantana Plateau
Kanufi Bomo, Kaduna, Adamawa, , Kano, Niger, Jigawa, Plateau, Taraba, Yobe
Karekare (Karaikarai) Bauchi, Yobe
Karimjo Taraba
Kariya Bauchi
Katab (Kataf) Kaduna
Kenern (Koenoem) Plateau
Kenton Taraba
Kiballo (Kiwollo) Kaduna
Kilba Adamawa
Kirfi (Kirfawa) Bauchi
Koma Taraba
Kona Taraba
Koro (Kwaro) Kaduna, Niger
Kubi (Kubawa) Bauchi
Kudachano (Kudawa) Bauchi
Kugama Taraba

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