Ewondo language

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Native speakers
(580,000 cited 1982)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2ewo
ISO 639-3ewo

Ewondo or Kolo is the language of the Ewondo people (more precisely Beti be Kolo or simply Kolo-Beti) of Cameroon. The language had 577,700 native speakers in 1982. Ewondo is a trade language. Dialects include Badjia (Bakjo), Bafeuk, Bamvele (Mvele, Yezum, Yesoum), Bane, Beti, Enoah, Evouzok, Fong, Mbida-Bani, Mvete, Mvog-Niengue, Omvang, Yabekolo (Yebekolo), Yabeka, and Yabekanga. Ewondo speakers live primarily in Cameroon's Centre Region and the northern part of the Océan division in the South Region.

Ewondo is a Bantu language. It is a dialect of the Beti language (Yaunde-Fang), and is intelligible with Bulu, Eton, and Fang.

In 2011 there was a concern among Cameroonian linguists that the language was being displaced in the country by French.[3]

Alphabet and phonology[edit]

Alphabet in Ewondo
A B D Dz E Ə Ɛ F G Gb H I K Kp L M Mb Mgb Mv N Nd Ndz Ng Ny Ŋ O Ɔ P R U T S V W Y Z
a b d dz e ə ɛ f g gb h i k kp l m mb mgb mv n nd ndz ng ny ŋ o ɔ p r u t s v w y z
a b d d͡z e ə ɛ f ɡ ɡ͡b h i k k͡p l m m͡b mɡ͡b ɱ͡v n n͡d nd͡z ŋ͡ɡ ɲ ŋ o ɔ p r u t s v w j z

[4]The tones are indicated with diacritics on the vowels:

  • the high tone is indicated with an acute accent: á é ə́ ɛ́ í ó ɔ́ ú;
  • the mid tone is indicated with a macron: ā ē ə̄ ɛ̄ ī ō ɔ̄ ū;
  • the low tone, the most frequent tone, is indicated by the absence of diacritics: a e ə ɛ i o ɔ u;
  • the rising tone is indicated with a caron: ǎ ě ə̌ ɛ̌ ǐ ǒ ɔ̌ ǔ;
  • the falling tone is indicated with a circumflex: â ê ə̂ ɛ̂ î ô ɔ̂ û.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ewondo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  3. ^ http://quotidien.mutations-multimedia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2962:patrimoine-la-langue-ewondo-a-son-dictionnaire&catid=58:news&Itemid=415[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Owona, Antoine (2004). L'orthographe harmonisée de l'ewondo. Université de Yaoundé.

External links[edit]