Efik - Ibibio - Anaang

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Categories: Languages, Nigeria

1.  Classification / Classification

This language cluster belongs to the Cross River branch of Benue-Congo. (Webbook?)

Ethnologue? gives the classification as: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Cross River, Delta Cross, Lower Cross, Obolo, Efik

An alternate name for Efik is (was?) Calabar.

2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

It is spoken in the Cross River Basin of Nigeria. (Webbook)

According to Ethnologue:

  • Anaang: Akwa Ibom State, Ikot Ekpene, Essien Udim, Abak, Ukanafun, and Oruk-Anam LGAs.
  • Efik: Cross River State, Calabar Municipality, Odukpani and Akamkpa LGAs; Akwa Ibom State, town of Itu.
  • Ibibio: Akwa Ibom State, Itu, Uyo, Etinan, Ikot Abasi, Ikono, Ekpe-Atai, Uruan, Onna, Nsit-Ubium, and Mkpat Enin LGAs.

3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

According to Ethnologue:

  • Anaang: 1,000,000 (1990)
  • Efik: 400,000 (1998)
  • Ibibio: 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 (1998 B. Connell)

Efik has 2 million second-language speakers. (Ethnologue)

4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

Anaang, Efik, and Ibibio are three closely related languages, with Efik serving as a lingua franca. (Webbook)

According to Ethnologue, (sub-)dialects include:

  • Anaang: Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Ukanafun
  • Efik: -
  • Ibibio: Enyong, Central Ibibio, Itak, Nsit. Several dialects.

5.  Usage / Utilisation

Of the three, Efik serves as the first school language is used in all levels of education (Grimes 1996) and is considered as the standard as well. Most Ibibio and Anaang speakers use Efik as a second language; it often serves as a lingua franca. Ibibio is the trade language of Akwa Ibom State (Grimes 1996) and is gaining status as more materials are prepared in it. Radio and television in Nigeria broadcasts in Efik. (Webbook)

Notes compiled from Ethnologue:

  • Anaang: Taught in primary schools. TV.
  • Efik: Official language. The major dialect and language of the Ibibio-Efik group. Used in adult education, university courses. Decreasing in use as a second language and as a literary language.
  • Ibibio: Trade language. Ibibio is the main trade language of Akwa Ibom State. Used in university courses.

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

Efik, as the first written language of the three, has a standard orthography. Ibibio has also recently developed a standard orthography. (Webbook) These are Latin-based orthographies that include extended characters.

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

"Language Museum" sample texts (NB- these may not be standard or official orthographies):

For Ibibio see:

(see also 7.3, below)

7.  Use in ICT / Utilisation dans les TIC

7.1  Fonts / Polices

Fonts with extended Latin ranges would be necessary.

7.2  Keyboards / Claviers

Keyboard Layouts / Dispositions de clavier

Production Keyboards / Claviers de production

Lancor's "KỌNYIN" keyboard for Windows includes all needed characters for Efik - http://www.konyin.com/

7.3  Content on computers & internet / Contenu en informatique et sur l'Internet

Edisuan Etop Mbana Mme Unen Owo Ke Ofuri Ekondo (Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Efik-Ibibio): http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/ibb.htm (NB- This may not be in a standardized orthography [verify])

Online Ibibio Dictionary: http://www.geocities.com/myibibio/index.html

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

Not aware of any.

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue


  • ISO 639-1: -
  • ISO 639-2: -
  • ISO 639-3: anw


  • ISO 639-1: -
  • ISO 639-2: efi
  • ISO 639-3: efi


  • ISO 639-1: -
  • ISO 639-2: -
  • ISO 639-3: ibb

The Wikipedia page on Ibibio Language suggests the generic ISO 639-2 code "bnt" (Other Bantu languages) for Ibibio since there is no ISO 639-2 code for it. See Comments below, 9).

7.6  Other / Autre

The Local Language Speech Technology Initiative (LLSTI) http://www.llsti.org/ has a text-to-speech (TTS) system for Ibibio in collaboration with the University of Uyo (Nigeria) and University of Bielefeld (Germany). Links to further information and downloads are at http://www.llsti.org/downloads-languages-ibibio.htm

8.  Localisation resources / Ressources pour localisation

8.1  Individuals (experts) / Individuelles (experts)

  • Dr. Eno-Abasi URUA, University of Uyo
  • Dr. Moses EKPEYON, University of Uyo

8.2  Institutions / Institutions


  • University of Uyo


  • Lancor Technologies, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria

8.3  On the internet / Sur la toile

"Ibibio, Efik, Anaang & ICT (fonts, keyboards & applications)" message board at http://www.quicktopic.com/37/H/q8r5VVqGF5Q (closed in 2013, but old content still accessible)

Latin & diacritic character picker http://people.w3.org/rishida/scripts/pickers/latin/

9.  Comments / Remarques

Would localisation focus first on Efik or Ibibio? Note that the Konyin keyboard mentions Efik, while the LLSTI project focused on Ibibio. Are these languages similar enough for either one localisation or use of a localisation in one to facilitate work in the other?

On the subject of language coding, is a new "macrolanguage" code for this group worth proposing?

10.  References / Références

Dwyer, David (1997), Webbook of African Languages, http://africa.isp.msu.edu/afrlang/hiermenu.html (page on "Efik/Ibibio/Anaang," http://africa.isp.msu.edu/afrlang/Efik_root.html )

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Anaang," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/anw

______, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Efik," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/efi

______, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Ibibio," http://www.ethnologue.com/language/ibb

SIL International, "ISO 639 Code Tables," http://www-01.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp

U.S. Library of Congress, "ISO 639.2: Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages: Alpha-3 codes arranged alphabetically by the English name of language," http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/English_list.php

Wikipedia, "Anaang language," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaang_language

______, "Efik language," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efik_language

______, "Ibibio language," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibibio_language

______, "Ibibio-Efik languages" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibibio-Efik_languages

< Edo | Major Languages | Fula >

Categories: Languages, Nigeria