Online Language Resources-Kpelle

Kpelle is a difficult language to learn without the guidance of a mentor. Despite this reality, there are several resources on the web that can help your initial learning of the language. Here is a list of online instructional materials and tools to aid in your language learning.


  1. Ominglot-Kpelle: Includes basic description of the language both Kpelle syllabary and alphabet, links to other Kpelle learning materials, and some very basic videos (including Bible videos)
  2. Ethnologue-Liberian Kpelle: Very brief overview of the language.

Reading and Vocabulary (Includes Grammar):

  1. Kpelle-English Dictionary: Not really a dictionary (at least not this version), but an overview of the language, alphabet, pronunciation and basic grammar.
  2. Tonal Systems in Kpelle: One o the major difficulties in learning Kpelle is that it is a tonal language. This article provides a brief explanation of the tones used in Kpelle. The article includes tones used in both Guinean Kpelle and Liberian Kpelle.
  3. Kpelle Reference Handbook: An old (1981) but useful handbook made for the Peace Corps which introduces basic grammar of Kpelle. One of the best resources currently out there.

Alphabet and Syllabary:

  1. Kpelle Syllabic Script: Provides some analysis and background to Kpelle’s script
  2. Kpelle Alphabet(in Kpelle): self-explanatory


  1. Kpelle Music: A webpage were you can download (must buy) Kpelle folk songs.
    1. Free version is on youtube
  2. Bible in Kpelle: A website with several recordings in Kpelle (including the Bible, including a 2 hour “Jesus” film).
    1. There are lots of religious recordings for Kpelle. These include:
      1. Kpelle Gospel Videos (77 min.)
      2. Words of Life Video (4 min)

Other Resources (not online)

  1. Thach, S. V. (1981). A Learner Directed Approach to Kpelle. A Handbook on Communication and Culture with Dialogs, Texts, Cultural Notes, Exercises, Drills and Instructions.
  2. Kpelle-English Dictionary, by Leidenfrost and McCay (2007)
  3. We Have Come to Learn Kpelle (2009): Book created by Cutting University that breaks down the language, providing examples of sentences and grammar. Is written in both English and Kpelle.

General News/Context-Liberia

For Complete list of online newspapers in Liberia (click)

  1. Liberian Observer
  2. New Liberia
  3. New Republic Liberia
  4. Allafrica (not local but regional)
  5. Front Page Africa (not local but regional)
  6. Executive Mansion: News from the President of Liberia
  7. Ministry of Education of Liberia


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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.