Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Africa > Senegal > Mandinka


A language of Senegal

ISO 639-3mnk

Population  669,000 in Senegal (2006). Population total all countries: 1,346,000.
Region  Southeast and south central. Also in Gambia, Guinea-Bissau.
Language map  Senegal and the Gambia, reference number 18
Alternate names   Mande, Manding, Mandingo, Mandingue, Mandinque, Socé
Dialects  Mandinka, Eastern Maninkakan [emk], and Western Maninkakan [mlq] are separate languages. Lexical similarity: 79% with Kalanke, 75% with Jahanka [jad], 70% with Xaasongaxango [kao], 59% with Western Maninkakan, 53% with Eastern Maninkakan, 48% with Bambara [bam].
Classification  Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Central-Southwestern, Central, Manding-Jogo, Manding-Vai, Manding-Mokole, Manding, Manding-West
A member of macrolanguage Mandingo [man] (Guinea).
Language use  Official language. National language.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. NT: 1989.
Writing system  Arabic script. Latin script.
Comments  Muslim.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Mandinka
Population  510,000 in Gambia (2006).
Region  West.
Language map  Senegal and the Gambia, reference number 18
Alternate names  Mandé, Manding, Mandingo, Mandinque, Socé
Language use  National language. Main language of middle Gambia. All ages. Positive attitude.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 10%. About 50% in Mandinka in Arabic script. People read newspapers but not books. Taught in primary schools.
Comments  Muslim.


Language name   Mandinka
Population  167,000 in Guinea-Bissau (2006).
Region  North central, central, and northeast.
Language map  Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, reference number 24
Alternate names  Manding, Mandinga, Mandingo, Mandingue, Mandinque
Comments  Muslim.