Igbo is one of the four official languages of Nigeria and is a member
of the Niger-Congo family of languages. It is spoken by about 18 million
people in Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
G. C. A. Oldendorp, a German missionary, was the first person to produce
a book containing material written in Igbo, which consisted of a few words
and phrases. His book, Geschichte der Mission der Evangelischen Bruder
auf den Carabischen (History of the Evangelistic Mission of the Brothers
in the Caribbean), was published in 1777. The first book in Igbo, Isoama-Ibo
a primer, was produced in 1857 by Samuel Ajayi Crowther, an ex-slave and
teacher who was also an outstanding African linguist, leader, and Africa’s first
There are numerous Igbo dialects, some of which are not mutually
intelligible. The standard written form of Igbo is based on the Owerri and
Umuahia dialects and has been in use since 1962.
Igbo alphabet and pronunciation
Sample text in Igbo
A mụrụ mmadụ nile n’ohere nakwa nha anya ugwu na
ikike. E nyere ha uche na mmụọ ime ihe ziri ezi nke na ha
kwesiri ịkpaso ibe ha agwa n’obi nwanne na nwanne.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Igbo Language Center – includes online lessons
Igbo language and literature resources
Information about the Igbo language