Zaghawa language


Zaghawa language

Infobox Language
name=Zaghawa
familycolor=Nilo-Saharan
states=Chad, Sudan
region=Chad, northwestern Sudan
speakers=186,834
fam1=Nilo-Saharan
fam2=Saharan
fam3=Eastern Saharan
iso2=zag|iso3=zag
The Zaghawa language is a Saharan language spoken by the Zaghawa people of eastern central Chad (in the Sahel) and northwestern Sudan (Darfur).The people who speak this language call it Beria. They are called the Beri people.It has been estimated that there are between 75,000 to 350,000 Zaghawa language speakers who primarily live in Chad and the Darfur region of Sudan.

Orthography

In the 1950s, a Zaghawa schoolteacher named Adam Tajir created an alphabet for the Zaghawa language that was based on the clan identification marks (brands). Sometimes known as the camel alphabet, he based the phoneme choice on the Arabic language rather than on Zaghawa. Also, some of the marks were longer than others, which made it harder to use it as a computer font.

In 2000, a Beri veterinarian named Siddick Adam Issa prepared an improved version of the alphabet which is named Beria Giray Erfe (Beria Writing Marks). In 2007, this system of writing was turned into a computer font by Seonil Yun in cooperation with SIL International and the Mission Protestante Franco-Suisse au Tchad. [http://scripts.sil.org/ZaghawaBeria_Home Zaghawa Beria Font]

There is also an Arab script alphabet under development based on the Tijani system of writing African languages in the 13th Century.

Notes

External links

* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=zag Ethnologue report]
* [http://www.zaghawa.org/ The Association for the Promotion of the Beria language]
* [http://scripts.sil.org/ZaghawaBeria_Home Zaghawa Beria Computer Font]


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