Lango language (South Sudan)

Lango (or Langgo) is an Eastern Nilotic language spoken an estimated 38,000 people in South Sudan.[2]

Native toSouth Sudan
EthnicityLango people
Native speakers
38,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
lgo – Lango
imt – Imotong
lqr – Logir
oie – Okolie


Lango/Lokwa is listed as a member of the Eastern Nilotic branch of Nilotic, in the Eastern Sudanic sub-grouping of Nilo-Saharan. Within Eastern Nilotic, Lango/Lokwa is considered part of the Lotuko language group, in the Lotuko-Maa branch of Teso-Lotuko-Maa (also referred to as the non-Bari languages).[3] Other members of the Lotuko language group include Lotuko, Lopit, Dongotono and Lokoya, all spoken in nearby regions of in South Sudan.

There has been virtually no description of the Lango language, and its relationship to other languages in the Lotuko cluster is unclear, as are the relationships between different dialects of Lango. Lokwa dialects is not listed in the Ethnologue. However, it is also noted that "It is uncertain whether or not the Lokwa dialect is separate language".[4]

Geographic distributionEdit

The Lango language is spoken by the Lango people, who live in mountainous areas of Ikotos County in Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan. According to the Ethnologue, the Lorwama variety is spoken in Losite payam, Lofos and Lotome; the Logir variety is spoken in Ikotos and Lomohidong payams, Kidepo and Ludwera; the Logire (Imatong) variety is spoken in Ikotos payam between Ikotos and Chukudum; the Lokwaa variety is spoken in Kikire and Ikotos, and the Ketebo variety is spoken in Losite payam, Bira.[5]


Limited data is available on the Lango language, but Muratori (1938) notes that Lango lexical items appear to be more similar to Lokoya than Lotuko, but that Lango appears to be phonetically and grammatically more similar to Lotuko.[6] It is likely that Lango shares many traits common to other languages in the Lotuko cluster and in Eastern Nilotic more generally, such as Verb-Subject-Object word order, two morphological verb classes, masculine and feminine grammatical gender for nouns, and a highly irregular number marking system involving a range of morphemes to mark singular, singulative, and plural. In terms of phonology, Lango is likely to have the Advanced Tongue Root contrast noted for closely related languages, and a consonant inventory including plosives at four or five places of articulation, with a voicing contrast at most of these.


Front Central Back
Close i ɪ u ʊ
Mid e ɛ ə o ɔ
Open a
Bilabial Alveolar (Alveolo-)
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
voiceless p t t͡ɕ k
voiced b d d͡ʑ g
Approximant l j w
Flap ɾ

Example textEdit

In his 1938 grammar of the Lotuko language, Muratori includes a short fable for many of the languages related to Lotuko, including Lokwa/Lango. No direct translation is provided for the Lokwa/Lango story, but it is about a racing competition between a hyena and a frog.[7]

Nebou xa Naxidwodwok

Omor nebou naxidwok ojo: “Iji anya ngatur anya.” Itarangu naxidwodwok ojo: “Nanyo, ilany iji ne ta nanyo? Ojo nebou: “Oxifo ba ne xinamita hoji xibwanyi, ngai ba irwati?” Ojo naxidwodwok “Tarixe.” Nyo xati naxidwodwok olo ni xobwo xinasi xongete, ojo no xoseng ojo: “Xibwanyi oxifo ba ne inamita xa nebou.” Bwo xinasi xongete ijimi: “Ongeda.” Nyo xati seng itixar i ta nexoi abitobito jiik mane ni fotiri xexoi. Xibwanyi berien ilong nebou naxidwodwok ojo: “I i anya ngatur anya, kwo nongole xiran.” Naxidodwok olotu jiik ni xoi, nebou oboita angati, naxidwodwok nebu angato. Ojo nabu: “Ina bo, abito, xarik, xutik.” Efoi, nagnwala ina onok bebe. Abe naxidwodwok oleo. Nebou jan oboita, ilong naxidwodwok: “Xidwodwok!” Xinasi xo xidwodwok iruk ni xatemeni xa nebou: “Kwek.” Nebou inamaxi da, ilong cebu: “Xidwodwok?” Abito xidwodwok iruk: “Kweek.” Nebou cebu ifirixi da ilong cebu ari: “Xidwodwok?” Abito xidwodwok cebu iruk ari ne xatemeni na nebou olama bebe: “Kweek.” Ixwa nebou ojojo oxirwat bane naxidwodwok. Nyo xato ngete obwararu nengwala obe ouraya tur. Ojo da, afiasa bebe, nyo xati ngete ibalangaru ni fok otoxoro naxinamita bebe, xongete aye fad.


  1. ^ Lango at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Imotong at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Logir at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Okolie at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Lango". Ethnologue 17. 2014. Retrieved 11 Jan 2015.
  3. ^ "Lango". Ethnologue 17. 2014. Retrieved 11 Jan 2015.
  4. ^ "Lango". Ethnologue 17. 2014. Retrieved 11 Jan 2015.
  5. ^ "Lango". Ethnologue 17. 2014. Retrieved 11 Jan 2015.
  6. ^ Muratori, Carlo (1938). Grammatica Lotuxo. Verona: Missioni Africane. pp. xix.
  7. ^ Muratori, Carlo (1938). Grammatica Lotuxo. Verona: Missioni Africane. pp. 472–473.