There are over 20 dialects spoken in Igbo land. As a result, there are various ways to spell and pronounce the same word in the different dialects. In addition, there are even different grammar rules and letters in the Igbo dialects. Some Igbo dialects include Owerri, Umuahia, Onitsha (pronounced “Onicha”), Ngwa, Enugu, Anambra, and Ebonyi.
You don’t have to learn all of the Igbo dialects if you don’t want to. I recommend at least trying to become fluent in Central Igbo and learning the dialect in your village. The standard Igbo dialect, which is sometimes called central Igbo, is also referred to as Izugbe. Many people in Igbo land are familiar with standard Igbo despite the Igbo dialect that is spoken in their village.
A lot of standard Igbo is formed from the Owerri and Umuahia dialects. Some also consider the Onitsha dialect to be similar to the Anambra dialect.
Either way, you should just keep in mind that you will come across different dialects as you interact with Igbo people!
I am going to try to focus on central Igbo for this site, but I may use other dialects from time to time. I will try to label them when I can.
Some examples of differences in Igbo Dialects showing letter swapping:
ịbụ (to be)
ịwụ (to be)
ezi na ụlọ (family) – Central Igbo
ezi na ụnọ (family) – Anambra Igbo
Ha (they / their / them ) – Central Igbo
Fa (they / their / them ) – Anambra Igbo
ihe (thing) – Central Igbo
ife (thing) – Anambra Igbo