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Computational Resources

Existing Resources

  • A beta version of a spell-checker is downloadable online, as well as an article on the development of this spell-checker. It does not appear to have been updated since 2010, and the site warns it may not be compatible with current versions of OpenOffice.

Developed Resources

  • Information on keyboard layouts for Kikuyu and to IPA in Kikuyu can be found here.
  • Information on Kikuyu morphology can be fond here.
  • Information about the disambiguator can be found here.


  • A vocabulary of Kikuyu, translating between Kikuyu and English, has been compiled in a book from 1904. It also contains information on several other languages, Swahili and Kamba. The orthography is not today's standard.
  • An English to Kikuyu dictionary exists online, but while it has a few words it appears to be very few; it cannot, for example, produce reliable translations for "cat" or "hello". It claims it has "5729350 sentences translated" but it is not clear what that means. It appears that anyone can edit the dictionary to add new words, and it claims that the dictionary does not store words but rather "the idea of what the word means"; it is also unclear what that means exactly. Furthermore, it does not appear to use the standard Kikuyu orthography for the few words it does have.


  • A fairly detailed grammar of Kikuyu is available online, compiled by a 2014-2015 Rice University Field Methods course. The appendix includes quite a few examples of glossed Kikuyu data. Sound files of these data are also available, licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Scientific Works

  • Kamu Chege et. al. at the University of Nairobi and the University of Antwerp have written an article describing the development of an open-source spellchecker for Kikuyu.
  • John J. McCarthy et. al. at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst have written a phonology paper about tone in Kikuyu.
  • Seth Cable has written multiple papers about tense and aspect in Kikuyu.


  • We have compiled material from several of the corpora below. The repository cannot be made public due to licensing issues but can be found on Swarthmore's github for those with access.
  • Kikuyu Wikipedia exists, but it appears to be somewhat limited, with a bit over 1000 articles. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
  • Several online blogs in Kikuyu exist and are available. It is hard to tell what they are about. This blog was used for the development of the open-source Kikuyu spellchecker mentioned above. There is no apparent licensing of any of these blogs.
  • This website appears to be entirely in Kikuyu, and it is not clear what it is, other than that it has a page listing what appear to be biographies of people. The website appears to be Copyright 2007-2010, but it's hard to be certain without being able to read Kikuyu.