Lendu language

Native to Congo (DRC)
Ethnicity Lendu, Hema, Alur, Okebu
Native speakers
760,000 (1996)[1]
  • Badha
Language codes
ISO 639-3 led
Glottolog lend1245[2]
Linguasphere 03-BAD

The Lendu, or Balendru, are an ethno-linguistic agriculturalist group residing in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in the area west and northwest of Lake Albert, specifically the Ituri Region of Orientale Province. Their language is one of the most populous of the Central Sudanic languages. There are three-quarters of a million Lendu speakers in the DRC, and 10,000 more in Uganda. A conflict between the Lendu and Hema people was the basis of the Ituri conflict.

Ethnologue gives Bbadha as an alternate name of Lendu, but Blench (2000) lists Badha as a distinct language. A draft listing of Nilo-Saharan languages, available from his website and dated 2012, lists Lendu/Badha.

Besides the Balendru themselves, Lendu is spoken as a native language by a portion of the Hema, Alur, and Okebu.


Demolin (1995) posits that Lendu has voiceless implosives, /ɓ̥ ɗ̥ ɠ̊/ (/ƥ ƭ ƙ/). However, Goyvaerts (1988) had described these as creaky-voiced implosives /ɓ̰ ɗ̰ ɠ̰/, as in Hausa, contrasting with a series of modally voiced implosives /ɓ ɗ ɠ/ as in Kalabari, and Ladefoged judges that this seems to be a more accurate description.[3]


  1. Lendu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Lendu". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 87–89. ISBN 0-631-19814-8.
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