Bube language

Bube, Bohobé or Bube–Benga (Bobe, Bubi), is a Bantu or Bantoid language spoken by the Bubi, a Bantu people native to, and once the primary inhabitants of, Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea. The language was brought to Bioko from continental Africa more than three thousand years ago when the Bubi began arriving on the island.[4]

It has around 50,000 speakers, with three variants: North, South and Central-East. It is noted for its tonal character and the divergence of words by gender. The language is also spoken by Bubi native to Gabon and Cameroon.

The Bube language is divided into six different dialects that vary in the northern and southern regions of Bioko Island. For example, in the North, people speak Rebola and its variations: Basile, Banapa and Basupa. However, in the North-East, Bakake is spoken.

Bube is also spoken in a small area on the mainland closest to the island, where speakers are shifting to Wumboko.[5] This has been reported as "Bube", "Bubia" or "Wovea" (see Wovea people).

The first Bube-to-English primer was authored in 1875 by William Barleycorn, a colonial era Primitive Methodist missionary of Igbo and Fernandino descent, while he was serving in the Bubi village of Basupu. An official language dictionary and grammar guide was published by the ethnic Bubi scholar Justo Bolekia Boleká.

Native toEquatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon
EthnicityBubi, Wovea
Native speakers
51,000 (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bvbinclusive code
Individual code:
bbx – Bubia (Wovea)
A.31, A.221[3]

Other names

Other names and forms of the name include Bubé, eVoové, eBubée, Bhubhi, Bubi, Ibubi, Ibhubhi, Pove and Eviia.



Bube has 7 vowels that can be either short or long:

Vowel phonemes
Front (short/long) Back (short/long)
Close i iː (ĩ) u uː (ũ)
Close-mid e eː (ẽ) o oː (õ)
Open-mid ɛ ɛː (ɛ̃) ɔ ɔː (ɔ̃)
Open a aː (ã)

The nasal vowels are allophones of respective oral vowels.


Bube has 20 consonants. Some of them are prenasalized:

Consonant Phonomes
Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ
Stop p b mp mb t d nt nd c ɟ ɲc ɲɟ k ɡ ʔ
Fricative f v s ns h
Approximant l j w
Pharyngeal ɾ


Number Northern Bube Northwestern Bube Southern Bube
1 buule buule muule
2 eppa eppa memba
3 betta betta metta
4 yeele yeele myeeme
5 betto betto metto
6 ra'a
metto na muule
7 ra'a la buule
ra'a la buule
metto na memba
8 yeele ketoppa
ra'a la eppa
metto na metta
9 yeele ketoppa la buule
baa buule ka yo
metto na myeene
10 yo yo myo


See also


  1. ^ Bube at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Bubia (Wovea) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bube". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ EquatorialGuinea.org; Retrieved 12/08/1998
  5. ^ Harald Hammarström (2013) Review of the Ethnologue, 16th Ed.
  6. ^ C. Junyent, Las lenguas del mundo, p. 66


  • Biddulph, Joseph, Fernandian (1988) The Bubi Bantu language of Bioco/Fernando Po. Pontypridd, Wales: Languages Information Centre, WorldCat no. 17838738.
Benga language

Benga is a Bantu language spoken by the Benga people of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It has a dialectical variation called Bapuku. Benga speakers inhabit a small coastal portion of Río Muni, the Cape of San Juan, suburban enclaves of Rio Benito and Bata, the islands of Corisco, Small Elobey and Great Elobey.


Bioko (also spelled Bioco, in Europe traditionally called Fernando Po [fɨɾˈnɐ̃du ˈpɔ] from the period of Portuguese colonization) is an island 32 km (20 mi) off the west coast of Africa, and the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea. Its population was 334,463 at the 2015 census (preliminary results) and it covers an area of 2,017 km2 (779 sq mi). The island is located off Cameroon, in the Bight of Bonny portion of the Gulf of Guinea. Its geology is volcanic; its highest peak is Pico Basile at 3,012 m (9,882 ft).

Bobe language

Bobe may be:

Wovea language

Bube language


Bube is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Andreas Bube (born 1987), Danish middle distance runner

Richard H. Bube (born 1927), American scientist and writer

Bubi people

The Bubi people (also known as Bobe, Voove, Ewota, and Bantu Bubi) are a Bantu ethnic group of Central Africa who are indigenous to Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Once the majority group in the region, the population experienced a sharp decline due to war and disease during Portuguese expeditions. By the end of Spanish colonial rule in the mid 20th century, and after substantial intermarriage with newly introduced populations, such as Afro-Cubans, Krio people, Portuguese people and Spaniards, the Bubi people, again, experienced a great decline in number. Seventy-five percent perished due to tribal/clan rooted political genocide during a civil war that led to Spanish Guinea's independence from Spain. This, too, sparked mass exodus from their homeland with most of the exiles and refugees immigrating into Spain. The indigenous Bubi of Bioko Island have since co-existed with non-indigenous Krio Fernandinos; and members of the Fang ethnic group, who have immigrated in large numbers from Río Muni. Once numbering approximately 3 million, the Bubi currently number around 100,000 worldwide.

The Bubi people, both living in Equatorial Guinea and exiled abroad, have long held little political power and economic stake in their native land. However, appointed government officials, such as the former Prime Minister Miguel Abia Biteo Borico and several other members of the current Equatorial Guinea government, are of ethnic Bubi descent.

Most Bubi people that remain on Bioko Island, as well as those native to Gabon, speak the Bube language. Many of the islanders also speak Spanish, French and Portuguese as a secondary language.

List of Igbo people

The list of Igbo people includes notable individuals who have full or significant ancestry traced back to the Igbo people of South-East and South-South geopolitical regions of Nigeria. As the Igbo are an ethnicity, people listed come from variety of different nations, and may have other ancestry as well as Igbo.

This page also contains names of people who traced their African heritage through DNA testing to the Igbo ethnic group.

Napoleon Barleycorn

Napoleon Barleycorn was a Primitive Methodist missionary in Spanish Guinea, a Fernandino of Igbo descent, who sent his sons to be educated at Bourne College in Quinton, England. One of his sons was William Napoleon Barleycorn, the well-known writer of the first Bube language primer.


Nokonoko has multiple meanings, including

The Japanese name for the Mario series enemy, Koopa Troopa

A kind of tree found in Fiji

A district of Fiji located in the Ra Province

A word in the Bube language to mean monster, spirit, or evil spirit

Sawabantu languages

Sawabantu languages are a group of Bantu languages comprising most of zones A.20 and A.30 of Guthrie's classification, and most likely also part of zone A.10. According to Nurse & Philippson (2003), the A.20 and A.30 languages apart from Bubi form a valid node. The most important of these languages is Duala, which is a vehicular language.


Voove may refer to:

Bubi people, also called Voove, an ethnic group inhabiting Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea

Bube language, the language of the Bubi people, one dialect of which is called eVoové

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