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Creation and distribution of a bena dictionary (paper version and smartphone application)

Bena (Glottocode: 1260) is a minority language of northeastern Nigeria belonging to the Buto language group, which until very recently was virtually unknown. Like other minority languages in the region, Bena is under heavy pressure from Hausa, the main lingua franca in northern Nigeria.

For several years now, Dmitry Idiatov (LLACAN, CNRS) has been working on the grammatical analysis and documentation of Bena. He has been asked by the notables of the Bena community to produce a Bena dictionary. The aim of this project is to develop and transform his working lexical database into a full-fledged dictionary, and publish it in paper and multimedia versions in the form of an application for smartphones and a website.

A first trial version of the dictionary in the form of an Android application can be downloaded from Google Play (


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