Language Tag Registration Form - sw-sheng

Denis Gikunda dgikunda at
Wed Sep 22 22:45:57 CEST 2010


Find below the registration form submission for new language variant, sheng.
Also find attached a PDF copy of the same.

Denis Gikunda.


   1. Name of requester: Denis Gikunda
   2. E-mail address of requester: dgikunda at
   3. Record Requested:

      Type: variant
      Subtag: sheng
      Description: a ‘creole’ language based on swahili-KE grammar and a
vocabulary derived from Swahili, English, and several other Kenyan
      Prefix: sw

   4. Intended meaning of the subtag:
The subtag represents the social code ‘sheng’ or colloquial identifier for
the variant.  sw-sheng language tag should denote that it is a derivative of

   5. Reference to published description of the language (book or article):
-- Nathan Oyori Ogechi. Trilingual Codeswitching in Kenya – Evidence from
Kiswahili, English and Sheng, Hamburg 2002
-- Clara Momanyi, Ph.D.  The Effects of ‘Sheng’ in the Teaching of Kiswahili
in Kenyan Schools, The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.2, no.8, March

   6. Any other relevant information:

   - Sheng contains words and influences from English and several other
   Bantu and Nilotic languages e.g. Luo and Kikuyu. It began around the late
   70s in Nairobi, but is now spoken in every urban town in Kenya (Kisumu,
   Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Meru).

   - Estimated L2 speakership:  >1.6 M. Some L1 speakers emerging urban and
   peri-urban settlements / slums. Usage is growing towards rural youth. At
   this size it is 7th most widely spoken language in Kenya, behind Kikuyu,
   Luo, Luhya, Kalenjin, Kamba & Somali.
   - 1 radio station that broadcasting entirely in Sheng: Ghetto Radio:89.5
   - All leading print, TV & outdoor media use campaigns primarily in Sheng.
    Notably mobile operators#, Banks, and NGOs have used sheng in their outdoor
   display advertising.
   - MyGamma <>, a popular global social
   network, registered Sheng as the fastest growing language on  its mobile

Denis Gikunda | Localization Manager - Africa | Google |
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