Ethnologue: Areas: Africa

Guinea Bissau

1,105,000 (1995). Republic of Guinea-Bissau. República da Guiné-Bissau. Formerly Portuguese Guinea. Literacy rate 6%; 10.5% (1977 C. M. Brann). Also includes people from Cape Verde, Guinea, Europeans. Information mainly from SIL 1996, Vanderaa 1991. Data accuracy estimate: B. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. Blind population 5,000 (1982 WCE). The number of languages listed for Guinea Bissau is 23.

BADYARA (BADIAN, BADYARANKE, PAJADE, PAJADINCA, PAJADINKA, GOLA, BIGOLA) [PBP] 3,500 in Guinea Bissau (1991 Vanderaa); 6,500 in Senegal (1991); 5,900 in Guinea (1991); 15,900 in all countries (1991 Vanderaa). Northeast corner. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Eastern Senegal-Guinea, Tenda. The speakers may be bilingual in Mandinka. Biafada is the closest language, with 52% lexical similarity. Muslim. Work in progress.

BAINOUK, GUNYUÑO (BANYUM, BANYUN, BAGNOUN, BANHUM, BAINUK, BANYUK, BANYUNG, ELOMAY, ELUNAY) [BAB] 6,000 (1991 Vanderaa). South of the Casamance River. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Eastern Senegal-Guinea, Nun. A distinct language from Gunyamoolo Bainouk of Senegal and Gambia. Related to Kobiana and Kasanga of Senegal and Guinea Bissau. More closely related to the Tenda languages of eastern Senegal than to Diola and Balanta. Muslim, traditional religion.

BALANTA (BALANT, BALANTE, BALANDA, BALLANTE, BELANTE, BULANDA, BRASSA, ALANTE, FRASE) [BLE] 270,000 in Guinea Bissau (1991 Vanderaa); 30% of the population; 78,100 in Senegal (1991); 348,100 or more in all countries. North central. Also in Cape Verde Islands and Gambia. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Bak, Balant-Ganja. Dialects: FORA, KANTOHE (KENTOHE, QUEUTHOE), NAGA, MANE. Naga, Mane, and Kantohe may be separate languages. Not intelligible with Mansoanka. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim. Bible portions 1980. Work in progress.

BASARI (ONIAN, AYAN, BIYAN, WO, BASSARI) [BSC] 300 in Guinea Bissau (1989 Wilson); 6,500 in Senegal (1991 Vanderaa); 8,600 in Guinea (1991 Vanderaa); 15,400 in all countries. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Eastern Senegal-Guinea, Tenda. Traditional religion. NT 1988.

BAYOT (BAIOTE, BAIOT, BAYOTTE) [BDA] 1,500 in Guinea (1991 Vanderaa); 5,200 in Senegal (1991); very few in Gambia (1991 SIL); 6,700 in all countries. Also in Senegal. Northwest, south of Ziguinchor. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Bak, Diola, Bayot. 15% lexical similarity with other Diola varieties. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

BIAFADA (BEAFADA, BIAFAR, BIDYOLA, BEDFOLA, DFOLA, FADA) [BIF] 32,000 (1993 Johnstone). Central south, north of the Nalu. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Eastern Senegal-Guinea, Tenda. 52% lexical similarity with Badyara. Muslim.

BIDYOGO (BIJAGO, BIJOGO, BIJOUGOT, BUDJAGO, BUGAGO, BIJUGA) [BJG] 24,500 (1993 Johnstone). Roxa and Bijago Islands. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Bijago. Dialects: ORANGO, ANHAQUI. Little literacy work has been done. Some intelligibility problems are reported between dialects. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1975. Bible portions 1973.

CRIOULO, UPPER GUINEA (PORTUGUESE CREOLE, KRIULO) [POV] 150,000 first language speakers in Guinea Bissau (1996) and 600,000 second language users (Chataigner ms.); 55,000 in Senegal; 300,000 in Cape Verde Islands (1989 J. Holm); 12,000 in Netherlands; 467,000 or more in all countries. Also Bijagos Islands, other former Portuguese possessions, and Gambia. There may be speakers among the 150,000 Cape Verdeans in New England, USA. Creole, Portuguese based. Dialects: BISSAU-BOLAMA CREOLE, BAFATÁ CREOLE, CACHEU-ZIGUINCHOR CREOLE. The lingua franca in much of Guinea Bissau, more in the west than in the east. Portuguese is less known than in Cape Verde. The Senegal dialect is a little different, but they are intelligible to each others' speakers. Trade language. Bible in press (1996). NT 1989. Bible portions 1979.

EJAMAT (EDIAMAT, FULUP, FELOUP, FELUP, FELUPE, FLOUP, FLUP) [EJA] 17,000 in Guinea Bissau (1993 Johnstone); 1,500 in Senegal (1991 SIL); 18,500 in all countries. Northwest corner, San Domingo District. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Bak, Diola, Diola Proper, Diola Central, Her-Ejamat. Muslim, Traditional religion. Survey needed.

FULFULDE, PULAAR (PEUL, PEULH) [FUC] 180,000 in Guinea Bissau (1991 Vanderaa), 20% of the population (1986); 1,946,000 in Senegal (1995); 214,000 in Gambia (1995); 24,000 in Guinea (1991); 175,000 in Mauritania (1995); 150,000 in Mali (1995); 2,689,000 in all countries. Center in French Casamance. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Senegambian, Fula-Wolof, Fulani, Western. Dialect: FULACUNDA (FULAKUNDA, FULKUNDA, FULA PRETO, FULA FORRO). There are five Fulfulde varieties in Guinea Bissau. Fula Forro are 'free' Fulas; Fulacunda are 'slave' Fulas. Muslim. Bible portions 1982-1993. Work in progress.

FUUTA JALON (FUTA JALLON, FOUTA DYALON, FULLO FUUTA, FUTA FULA, FULBE, PULAR) [FUF] 2,878,400 or more in all countries (1991 Vanderaa); 178,400 in Sierra Leone (1991); 2,550,000 in Guinea (1991); 50,000 in Mali (1991); 100,000 in Senegal (1991). Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Senegambian, Fula-Wolof, Fulani, West Central. Muslim. Bible portions 1929-1975. Work in progress.

JAHANKA (JAHANQUE, JAHONQUE, DIAKKANKE, DIAKHANKE, DYAKANKE) [JAD] 24,500 or more in all countries (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 12,600 in Guinea (1991); 21,900 in Senegal (1991). Also in Gambia. Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Northwestern, Northern, Greater Mandekan, Mandekan, Manding. 75% lexical similarity with Mandinka. Muslim. Survey needed.

KASANGA (CASSANGA, KASSANGA, I-HADJA, HAAL) [CCJ] 400 (1980 Maranz). A remnant is living near Felupe, northwest, in a sparsely populated border area. None in Senegal. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Eastern Senegal-Guinea, Nun. Close to Banyun. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

KOBIANA (COBIANA, UBOI, BUY) [KCJ] 400 (1991 Vanderaa). Near Banyun. Not in Senegal. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Eastern Senegal-Guinea, Nun. Closely related to Banyun and Kasanga. Speakers are bilingual in Mandyak, but not vice versa. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

MANDINKA (MANDINGA, MANDINGUE, MANDINGO, MANDINQUE, MANDING) [MNK] 119,000 in Guinea Bissau (1993 Johnstone); 445,500 in Senegal (1991); 350,000 in Gambia (1993); 914,500 in all countries. Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Northwestern, Northern, Greater Mandekan, Mandekan, Manding. Significantly different from Maninka of Guinea and Malinke of Senegal (Church). 79% lexical similarity with Kalanke, 75% with Jahanka, 70% with Kassonke, 59% with Malinke, 53% with Mori, 48% with Bambara. An important language. Some dialects may be distinct languages. Muslim. NT 1989. Bible portions 1837-1966.

MANDYAK (MANDJAQUE, MANJACA, MANJACO, MANJIAK, KANYOP, MANJAKU, MANJACK, NDYAK, MENDYAKO) [MFV] 125,000 in Guinea Bissau (1991 Vanderaa), 14% of the population (1986); 70,200 in Senegal (1991); 14,100 in Gambia (1991); 209,300 or more in all countries. West and northwest of Bissao. Also in France and the Cape Verde Islands. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Bak, Manjaku-Papel. Dialects: BOK (BABOK, SARAR, TEIXEIRA PINTO, TSAAM), LIKES-UTSIA (BARAA, KALKUS), CUR (CHURO), LUND, YU (PECIXE, SIIS, PULHILH). Some dialects listed may be separate languages. Closely related to Mankanya and Papel. Important politically. Thousands have emigrated to France. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim. Bible portions 1968. Work in progress.

MANKANYA (MANKANHA, MANCANHA, MANCAGNE, MANCANG, BOLA) [MAN] 30,000 in Guinea Bissau (1991 Vanderaa); 19,400 in Senegal (1991); 1,200 in Gambia (1991); 50,600 in all countries (1991 Vanderaa). Northwest of Bissau. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Bak, Manjaku-Papel. Dialects: BURAMA (BULAMA, BURAM, BRAME), SHADAL (SADAR). Speakers are fairly well educated. Traditional religion.

MANSOANKA (MANSOANCA, MASWANKA, SUA, KUNANT, KUNANTE) [MSW] 10,500 in Guinea Bissau (1991 Vanderaa). North central. Also Gambia. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Southern, Sua. Not inherently intelligible with Balanta or Mandinka, although called 'Mandinkanized Balanta'. Muslim. Survey needed.

NALU (NALOU) [NAJ] 6,000 Guinea Bissau (1991 Vanderaa); 12,800 in Guinea (1991); 18,800 in all countries Maranz). South near coast. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Mbulungish-Nalu. Many are bilingual in Susu. Intermarriage in the border area with another group. Reported to be closed to outsiders. Muslim, traditional religion. Survey needed.

PAPEL (PEPEL, PAPEI, MOIUM, OIUM) [PBO] 97,000 in Guinea Bissau (1993 Johnstone) or 7% of the population (1986); 2,400 in Guinea (1991 Vanderaa); 100,000 in all countries. Bissau Island. Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Bak, Manjaku-Papel. Closely related to Mankanya and Mandyak. 3 dialects. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1996. Bible portions 1981.

PORTUGUESE [POR] 170,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Western. Language of wider communication. Bible 1751, in press (1993). NT 1681-1982. Bible portions 1505-1951.

SONINKE (SARAKOLE, MARKA) [SNN] 5,000 in Guinea Bissau (1993); 150,000 in Senegal (1993); 700,000 in Mali (1991); 30,000 in Mauritania; 90,000 in Burkina Faso (1991); 100,000 in Côte d'Ivoire (1991); 51,000 in Gambia (1991); 1,126,000 or more in all countries. Also in Guinea and possibly in Niger. Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Soninke-Bozo. Dialect: AZER (ADJER, ASER, AJER, MASIIN, TAGHDANSH). Ethnic groups: Aser, Aswanik, Gadyaga, Marka, Markanka, Nono, Saracole, Serahuli, Sarawule, Tonbakai, Wakove. They live among the Fula and Mandinka and speak those languages as second languages. Muslim. Work in progress.

SUSU (SUSOO, SOUSOU, SOSU, SOSO, SOSE) [SUD] 3,000 in Guinea Bissau (1993 Johnstone); 120,000 in Sierra Leone (1989 TISLL); 800,000 in Guinea (1993) 923,000 in all countries. Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Northwestern, Northern, Susu-Yalunka. A separate language from Yalunka. Muslim. NT 1884-1988. Bible portions 1869-1963.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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