Native toKenya
RegionRift Valley Province
EthnicityNandi people
Native speakers
950,000 (2009 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3niq

Nandi (Naandi), also known as Cemual, is a Kalenjin language spoken in the highlands of western Kenya, in the districts of Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Trans-Nzoia.[2]


Nandi is the language spoken by the Nandi, who are part of the Kalenjin people. These languages and dialects, classified with the Datooga language and the Omotik language, form the Southern Nilotic languages sub-group of the Nilotic languages.[2]


The tables below present the vowels[3] and consonants[4] of Nandi.


Front Central Back
Close i [i]   ii [] u [u]   uu []
Mid e [e]   ee [] o [o]   oo []
Open a [a]   aa []

Nandi differentiates its vowels according to their place of articulation. They are either pronounced with the root of the tongue advanced, or with the root of the tongue retracted.[5]


Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Nasal m [m] n [n] ny [ɲ] ng [ŋ]
Plosive/Affricate p [p] t [t] [t͡ʃ] k [k]
Fricative s [s]
Liquid l [l]
Rhotic r [r]
Semivowel w [w] y [j]


Nandi is a tonal language.


  1. ^ Nandi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Creider 1989, p. 9.
  3. ^ Creider 1989, p. 17.
  4. ^ Creider 1989, p. 13.
  5. ^ Creider 1989, p. 18.