Language Snapshots

Nobiin (Egypt, Sudan) – Language Snapshot

  • Maya L. Barzilai
  • Nubantood Khalil


Nobiin is a Nile-Nubian language originally spoken along the Nile River in Egypt and Sudan. Rilly & de Voogt (2012) estimate that the Nobiin community today consists of about 545,000 members. Of those, about 500,000 are in Egypt and Sudan, and the rest live as refugees in Europe, the United States (US), and the Arabian Gulf (Rilly & de Voogt, 2012), due to the coerced displacement of much of the Nobiin community in the 1960s. Nobiin is currently considered to be an endangered language. Several members of the Nobiin communities in the US and elsewhere are currently engaged in revitalization programs, including literacy projects for native Nobiin-speaking adults and children of the Nobiin community.

Keywords: Nobiin, Nile-Nubian language, Egypt, Sudan, Nile River, Endangered

How to Cite:

Barzilai, M. & Khalil, N., (2020) “Nobiin (Egypt, Sudan) – Language Snapshot”, Language Documentation and Description 17, 118-125. doi:

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Published on
31 Jul 2020
Peer Reviewed