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PanAfriL10n - PanAfrLoc - Meru

Meru - Kimeru

1.  Classification / Classification

Meru, or Kimeru, is a Bantu language.

Ethnologue? lists the classification as: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, E, Kikuyu-Kamba (E.20), Meru


2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

Meru District, Eastern Province, northeast of Mt. Kenya in Kenya. (Ethnologue)


3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

1,305,000 (1994 I. Larsen BTL) (Ethnologue)


4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

Dialect survey work for Kenya languages is offered in Heine and Möhlig (l980). (Webbook?)

According to Ethnologue, Meru has the following dialects:

  • Meru
  • Igembe
  • Tigania
  • Imenti
  • Miutini
  • Igoji

Lexical similarity 85% between Imenti and Tigania. 67% similarity with Chuka, 63% with Embu and Gikuyu, 57% with Kamba. (Ethnologue)


5.  Usage / Utilisation

Meru is a local first language and one of the languages broadcast over the Voice of Kenya. (Webbook)

Literacy rate (according to Ethnologue, accessed 2007):

  • L1: 5% to 10%
  • L2: 25% to 50%

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

Although Kimeru has seven vowels, only five are used in the (Latin-based) orthography. (Webbook)

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

A sample text is shown on the "Language Museum" site: http://www.language-museum.com/m/meru.htm


7.  Use in ICT / Utilisation dans les TIC

7.1  Fonts / Polices

7.2  Keyboard layouts / Dispositions de clavier

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

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

None known of.

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue

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

7.6  Other / Autre


8.  Localisation resources / Ressources pour localisation

8.1  Individuals (experts) / Individuelles (experts)

8.2  Institutions / Institutions

8.3  On the internet / Sur la toile


9.  Comments / Remarques

Would it be possible for a localisation strategy to treat Meru and the several languages that are closely related as a group for some purposes? (see #4 above)


10.  References / Références

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

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

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, "Meru language," https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meru_language


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Categories: Languages, Kenya