Urhobo is an Edoid language of the Delta State region of southern Nigeria. There are approximately 546,000 speakers (Johnston 1993).

How endangered is Urhobo? Urhobo is still spoken widely in the Delta region. However, most speakers are bilingual in Nigerian Pidgin English, a national lingua-franca, which has given rise to concerns that Urhobo is endangered. Various community groups in Nigeria as well as in expatriate communities abroad, have begun to organize around efforts to preserve the language and teach it to the youth.

Toronto is home to several hundred Urhobo speakers. The local community sponsors a heritage language course for children through the Toronto District School Board. In the following short video, community leader Rita Makolomi speaks in Urhobo about traditions in her home village. To view subtitles in Urhobo and English, click the closed captioning button [cc] in the bottom righthand corner of the screen.

If you are a speaker of Urhobo in the Toronto area who is interested in being recorded or otherwise involved with our project, please contact us.

Johnstone, P. (1993). Operation world. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House.

Further reading:
Aziza, R. and T. Ojaide (Eds.). (2013). The Urhobo Language Today. Lagos: Malthouse Press Limited.

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