|Native to||Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon|
Bube, Bohobé or Bube–Benga (Bobe, Bubi), is a Bantu or Bantoid language spoken by the Bubi, a Bantu people native to, and once the primary inhabitants of, Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea. The language was brought to Bioko from continental Africa more than three thousand years ago when the Bubi began arriving on the island.
It has around 50,000 speakers, with three variants: North, South and Central-East. It is noted for its tonal character and the divergence of words by gender. The language is also spoken by Bubi native to Gabon and Cameroon.
The Bube language is divided into six different dialects that vary in the northern and southern regions of Bioko Island. For example, in the North, people speak Rebola and its variations: Basile, Banapa and Basupa. However, in the North-East, Bakake is spoken.
The first Bube-to-English primer was authored in 1875 by William Barleycorn, a colonial era Primitive Methodist missionary of Igbo and Fernandino descent, while he was serving in the Bubi village of Basupu. An official language dictionary and grammar guide was published by the ethnic Bubi scholar Justo Bolekia Boleká.
Other names and forms of the name include Bubé, eVoové, eBubée, Bhubhi, Bubi, Ibubi, Ibhubhi, Pove and Eviia.
Bube has 7 vowels that can be either short or long:
|Front (short/long)||Back (short/long)|
|Close||i iː (ĩ)||u uː (ũ)|
|Close-mid||e eː (ẽ)||o oː (õ)|
|Open-mid||ɛ ɛː (ɛ̃)||ɔ ɔː (ɔ̃)|
|Open||a aː (ã)|
Bube has 20 consonants. Some of them are prenasalized:
|Stop||p b mp mb||t d nt nd||c ɟ ɲc ɲɟ||k ɡ||ʔ|
|Fricative||f v||s ns||h|
|Number||Northern Bube||Northwestern Bube||Southern Bube|
|metto na muule|
|7||ra'a la buule
|ra'a la buule
|metto na memba|
|ra'a la eppa
|metto na metta|
|9||yeele ketoppa la buule
|baa buule ka yo
|metto na myeene|