Af Daasanach
Native toEthiopia, Kenya, South Sudan
RegionLower Omo River, Lake Turkana
Native speakers
71,000 (2007–2019)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3dsh

Daasanach (also known as Dasenech, Daasanech, Dathanaik, Dathanaic, Dathanik, Dhaasanac, Gheleba, Geleba, Geleb, Gelebinya, Gallab, Galuba, Gelab, Gelubba, Dama, Marille, Merile, Merille, Morille, Reshiat, Russia) is a Cushitic language spoken by the Daasanach in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya whose homeland is along the Lower Omo River and on the shores of Lake Turkana.[2]

Writing system

Jim Ness and Susan Ness of Bible Translation and Literacy and Wycliffe Bible Translators devised a practical spelling and published a 1995 alphabet book. Yergalech Komoi and Gosh Kwanyangʼ published another alphabet book in 1995. An edition of the Gospel of Mark was published in 1997, and other Bible translations were published with this spelling in 1999.[3]

A revision of this spelling is adopted, replacing the digraph ‹dh› by the d with a horizontal stroke through the bowl ‹ꟈ›.

Daasanach alphabet[4][5][3]
Letters ʼ a b ʼb ch d ʼd e f g ʼg h i ʼj k l m n ngʼ ny o r s sh t u v w y
Pronunciation ʔ a b ɓ c d ɗ ð e f g ɠ h i ɟ k l m n ŋ ɲ o r s ʃ t u v w j

Vowels can be given with the acute accent, ⟨á, é, í, ó, ú⟩, or the circumflex accent ⟨â, ê, î, ô, û⟩.[4][5]


  1. ^ Daasanach at Ethnologue (27th ed., 2024) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Raymond G. Gordon Jr., ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  3. ^ a b Tosco 2001, p. 7.
  4. ^ a b Nyingole & Kwanyangʼ 2013a.
  5. ^ a b Nyingole & Kwanyangʼ 2013b.

Further reading