Introduction / History The Sebat-bet (seven houses) Gurage live in the south-central highlands of Ethiopia. The Gurage are known all over Ethiopia for their prowess in trade. While they consider themselves one people, there are 11 dialects of the Sebat-bet Gurage language, Guraginya. Most of the Gurage people are Muslim, though they are currently and religiously divided along dialect lines.
The New Testament is available in the Chehc dialect of Guraginya but only very few people know how to read it. Most churches in the area preach in the national language with some interpretations into local language. The Gurage people need a large scale literacy program to enable them to read the New Testament in their own language. Also one of the dialects of Guraginya, Inor, will need to have their own translation to ensure that people can understand God's word clearly. Speakers of the Endegeny dialect will be able to read the Scriptures in Inor. The others can understand the Scriptures in cheha.
Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region: west Gurage zone; Chaha dialect: Emdibir area; Gura dialect: Gura Megenase and Wirir areas; Muher dialect: Ch’eza area, mountains north of Chaha and Ezha; Gyeto dialect: south of Ark’it’ in K’abul and K’want’e; Ezha dialect: Agenna. (Source: Ethnologue 2016)