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.
- 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)
- Ethnologue-Liberian Kpelle: Very brief overview of the language.
Reading and Vocabulary (Includes Grammar):
- Kpelle-English Dictionary: Not really a dictionary (at least not this version), but an overview of the language, alphabet, pronunciation and basic grammar.
- 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.
- 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:
- Kpelle Syllabic Script: Provides some analysis and background to Kpelle’s script
- Kpelle Alphabet(in Kpelle): self-explanatory
- Kpelle Music: A webpage were you can download (must buy) Kpelle folk songs.
- Free version is on youtube
- Bible in Kpelle: A website with several recordings in Kpelle (including the Bible, including a 2 hour “Jesus” film).
Other Resources (not online)
- 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.
- Kpelle-English Dictionary, by Leidenfrost and McCay (2007)
- 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.