Kalenjin language resources
Kalenjin is spoken on a daily basis in: Kenya
Additional background on
For the broader linguistic family of Kalenjin languages spoken in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, see Kalenjin languages.
Kalenjinis a cluster of closely related dialects spoken in Western Kenya and the Rift Valley by about 12% of Kenya's population. The present name for the dialect cluster gained prominense in the late 1940s and the early 1950s, when several Nandi-speaking peoples united to assume the common name 'Kalenjin', a Nandi expression meaning I say (to you). Due to this effort, the peoples were transformed into a major ethnic group in Kenya. The adoption of the name Kalenjin also involved a standardization of the different dialects.
The languages of the Kenyan Kalenjin peoples are classified under the linguistic family of Kalenjin languages, which also encompasses such languages as Akie (Tanzania) and Kubsabiny (Uganda). Due to this even broader use of the term 'Kalenjin', it is common practice in linguistic literature to refer to the languages of the Kenyan Kalenjin peoples as the 'Nandi languages'. The Kalenjin languages belong to the Southern Nilotic group of the Eastern Sudanic branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family.
Main varieties are (ordered from north to south):
Keyo (Keiyo) Cherangany Tugen Nandi language Kipsigis (Kipsikiis, Kipsikis)
Other, somewhat more distantly related languages are the Markweta languages Endo and Talai. Terik (Nyang'ori) is classified as one of the Elgon languages by Rottland (1982) but is called a Kalenjin dialect by the Ethnologue (15th edition); this is due to the fact that the Terik people, originally from the Elgon area, have increasingly assimilated to the neighbouring Nandi people to the point of their language becoming very much like the Kalenjin Nandi dialect.
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All data is derived from UNESCO.