Suri language

Native to Ethiopia
Region Bench Maji Zone
Ethnicity Suri, Tirma
Native speakers
27,000 (2007 census)[1]
  • Tirma
  • Chai
Language codes
ISO 639-3 suq
Glottolog suri1267[2]

Suri (Churi, Dhuri, Shuri, Shuro), is a Nilo-Saharan Eastern Sudanic language, of the Surmic grouping. It is spoken in the Bench Maji Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region (SNNPR) in Ethiopia, to the South Sudan border, and across the border in South Sudan by the Suri. The language has over 80% lexical similarity to Mursi.[3] The language is often referred to by another form of its name, Surma, after which the Surmic branch of Eastern Sudanic is named, but that form is frequently used for the three related languages spoken by the Surma people: Suri, Mursi, and Me'en.

Suri is spoken in two dialect by two nationalities, the Tirma (Tirmaga, Cirma, Dirma, Terema, Terna, Tid, Tirima, Tirmagi) and the Chai (Caci, Cai).


  1. Ethiopia 2007 Census
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Suri". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Suri language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)


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