Daza language

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Native toChad, Niger, Sudan, Libya
RegionChad, BET Region, bahr el Gazel Region, eastern Niger
EthnicityDaza people/Gouran people
Native speakers
380,000 (2006–2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3dzg
Toubou map.svg

Daza (also known as Dazaga) is a Nilo-Saharan language spoken by the Daza people inhabiting northern Chad. The Daza are also known as the Gouran (Gorane) in Chad.[1] Dazaga is spoken by around 380,000 people, primarily in the Djurab Desert region and the Borkou region, locally called Haya or Faya-Largeau northern-central Chad, the capital of the Dazaga people. Dazaga is spoken in the Tibesti Mountains of Chad (330,000 speakers), in the eastern Niger near N'guigmi and to the north (50,000 speakers). It is also spoken to a smaller extent in Libya and in Sudan, where there is a community of 3,000 speakers in the city of Omdurman. There's also a small diaspora community working in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The two primary dialects of the Dazaga language are Daza and Kara, but there are several other mutually intelligible dialects, including Kaga, Kanobo, Taruge and Azza. It is closely related to the Tedaga language, spoken by the Teda, the other out of the two Toubou people groups, who reside primarily in the Tibesti Mountains of northern Chad and in southern Libya near the city of Sabha.

Dazaga is a Nilo-Saharan language and a member of the Western Saharan branch of the Saharan subgroup which also contains the Kanuri language, Kanembu language and Tebu languages.[3] Tebu is further divided into Tedaga and Dazaga. The Eastern Saharan branch includes the Zaghawa language and Berti language.[4]


The dialects spoken in Chad and Niger have some French influence whereas the dialects spoken in Libya and Sudan have more of an Arabic influence. The Dazaga language is not a literary language and has a limited vocabulary. It adjusts to this by borrowing from other languages such as Arabic or French. For example, the word for "thank you" did not exist in Dazaga so the Arabic word shokran was incorporated into the language and is usually followed by the suffix -num which acknowledges the second person. The majority of Dazaga speakers are bilingual in their native tongue along with either Arabic, French, Zaghawa, Hausa, Zarma, Kanuri or Tuareg.
The following tables contain words from the Daza dialect spoken in Omdurman, Sudan. This romanisation is not standard.


English Dazaga English Dazaga
One Tron Eleven Murdai sa Tron
Two Jow Twelve Murdai sa Jow
Three Aguzo Thirteen Murdai sa Aguzo
Four Twzo Fourteen Murdai sa Twzo
Five Foo Fifteen Murdai sa Foo
Six Disi Sixteen Murdai sa Disi
Seven Troso Seventeen Murdai sa Troso
Eight Woso Eighteen Murdai sa Woso
Nine Yisi Nineteen Murdai sa Yisi
Ten Murdum Twenty Digiram
Thirty Murtta Aguzo Fifty Murtta Foo
Forty Murtta Twzo Hundred Kidri

Basic words and phrases[edit]



English Dazaga English Dazaga
Man Anji Good Morning Wasa Nisira
Woman Ari Good Night Kalar Sizoo
Family Ama Yaga Thank you Shukran Num
Brother Dagi My name is... Tan Sortanjo
Sister Duroo What is your name? Sornuma Jaa?
Father Abaa How are you? Inta wWsura?
Mother Ayi I am well Kala Layy or Tan Wasu
Friend Sardu Please jinda
Life Dina Country Ni
Death Noso Religion Din
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive b t d tʃ dʒ k ɡ
Fricative f s z (ʃ) h
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Flap ɾ
Lateral l
Approximant w j


Front Central Back
Close i u
ɪ ʊ
Mid e o
ɛ ɔ
Open a



  1. ^ a b Daza at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dazaga". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Greenberg, Joseph H. 1963. The languages of Africa. International Journal of American Linguistics 29.1. Repr. The Hague: Mouton, 1966.
  4. ^ Cyffer, Norbert. 2000. Linguistic properties of the Saharan languages. Areal and Genetic Factors in Language Classification and Description: Africa South of the Sahara, ed. by Petr Zima, 30-59. Lincom Studies in African Linguistics 47. München: Lincom Europa
  5. ^ Walters, Josiah (2016). A Grammar of Dazaga.

External links[edit]

  • Relative Clauses in Dazaga [1]