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Sherbro (African people) -- Social life and customs, Sherbro language -- Primers


African Languages and Societies | Applied Linguistics

Physical Description

86 pages


The Sherbro wring system uses a number of non‐English symbols that are explained in Appendix A at the end of the book. They are the standard symbols used in wring all other Sierra Leone languages (including Krio). The first obvious difference from English is that the symbols used to represent Sherbro vowels have quite different pronunciations from the leers used to represent vowel sounds in English. Other differences are relatively minor.

The book is organized as follows. After these prefatory remarks appears the text itself, which is divided into three sections and a set of appendices.

The first section, “The Sherbro alphabet” introduces the different consonant symbols used to write Sherbro. Each leer is introduced with a number of examples containing the leer. Vowels do not have their individual pages but are exemplified throughout the section. The palatal nasal [ɲ] is represented by the digraph and has no page of its own, forming part of the “N n” page. The labialvelar, occurring in such words as gbaka ‘laughter’ and gbal ‘write’, does not have its own page.

The next section, “Sherbro vocabulary”, introduces some Sherbro words organized into different categories. The categories are the family (ramdɛ), food (yenjoo or njoɛ), things or implements (yek / nyek), numbers or counting (tɔm), me (bonk), locaons (ko), clothes (kotha thɛ), body parts (jal or njallɛ), animals (vis or nvisɛ), the home (chɛli), the kitchen (boo or booɛ), on the sea (hɛlɛkoɛ), weather (hɔɛ), and states (thekni).

The third section contains a number of greetings and a selection of proverbs.

In the last section, Appendices, you will find an explanation of the symbols used in this book (Appendix A) and a glossary of all the words used in this book (Appendix B)


Compiled and illustrated by Sasha Krafft. Layout and publishing by Jedd Schrock.


Africa, Sierra Leone


Sherbro, English

ISO 639

bun, eng

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