Yoruba (natively èdè Yorùbá) is a Niger–Congo language spoken in West Africa. The number of speakers of Yoruba was estimated at around 20 million in the 1990s.
The native tongue of the Yoruba people is spoken, among other languages, in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo and in communities in other parts of Africa, Europe and the Americas. A variety of the language, Lucumi, is the liturgical language of the Santeria religion of the Caribbean. The language is also used in Ketu, a branch of the Candomblé religion in Brazil.
It is most closely related to the Owo and Itsekiri language (spoken in the Niger-Delta) and Igala spoken in central Nigeria, which are smaller languages spoken in neighbouring regions.