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Gikuyu

A language of Kenya

ISO 639-3kik

Population  7,180,000, increasing.
Region  West central, Central Province, Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, and Kirinyaga districts.
Language map  Kenya, reference number 13
Alternate names   Gekoyo, Gigikuyu, Kikuyu
Dialects  Southern Gikuyu (Kiambu, Southern Murang’a), Ndia (Southern Kirinyaga), Gichugu (Northern Kirinyaga), Mathira (Karatina), Northern Gikuyu (Northern Murang’a, Nyeri). Lexical similarity: 73% with Embu [ebu], 70% with Chuka [cuh], 67% with Kamba [kam], 63% with Meru [mer].
Classification  Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, E, Kikuyu-Kamba (E.20)
Language use  Vigorous. GIDS 5. Home, social gatherings, business. All ages. Positive attitude. Also use Kiswahili [swh] or English.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 30%–60%. Literacy rate in L2: 75%–100%. 95% of the children are in school. Taught in primary schools. Grammar. Bible: 1951–1965.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  Agriculturalists: sorghum, millet, beans, sweet potatoes, maize, potatoes, cassava, bananas, sugarcane, yams, fruit, tobacco, coffee, castor oil, tea, pyrethrum, peas; animal husbandry: goats, sheep, cattle. Christian, traditional religion.