Mauritania

Print
Arabic, Standard
[arb] Widespread. Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic

More Information

French
[fra] Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language. Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Oïl, French

More Information

Hassaniyya
[mey] Also in Algeria (Hassaniyya Arabic), Libya (Hassaniyya Arabic), Mali (Hasanya Arabic), Morocco (Hassaniyya Arabic), Niger (Hassaniyya Arabic), Senegal, Western Sahara (Hassaniyya Arabic). 2,770,000 in Mauritania (2006), increasing. Population total all countries: 3,278,190. Status: 3 (Wider communication). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Alternate Names: Hasanya, Hasanya Arabic, Hassani, Hassania, Hassaniya, Hassaniyya Arabic, Klem El Bithan, Maure Dialects: Not intelligible with other Arabic varieties. The Nemadi (Ikoku) are an ethnic group of 200 (1967) that speak Hassaniyya, but they have special morphemes for dogs, hunting, and houses. Nomadic between Mali and Mauritania. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic Comments: Ethnonym: Maures, Moors. White Maure are called Bithan, also used for Maures in general. Black Maures are called Haratine. Muslim.

More Information

Imeraguen
[ime] Near Nouakchott, from Cape Timiris to Nouadhibou. 610 (2006), decreasing. Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Imraguen Dialects: Reportedly a variety of Hassaniyya structured on an Azer (Soninke) base. Classification: Unclassified Comments: Vassals to important Hassan tribes, especially the Oulad Bou Sba. Reportedly remnants of the Bafours.

More Information

Pulaar
[fuc] 192,000 in Mauritania (2006). Status: 5 (Developing). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Alternate Names: Peul Dialects: Toucouleur (Haalpulaar, Pulaar, Tukulor). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Senegambian, Fula-Wolof, Fula, Western Comments: Fuuta Tooro (Fouta Toro) was a major Toucouleur geopolitical state, with center in northern Senegal. Muslim.

More Information

Soninke
[snk] Southeast, mainly Qurqul, Qidimaga, Hud-as-Sarqi, and Hud-al-Garbi regions; Selibaby and Kaedi are principal towns. 45 villages. 180,000 in Mauritania (2011 P. Jorgensen), increasing. Status: 5 (Developing). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Alternate Names: Aswanek, Aswanik, Azer, Gangara, Genger, Maraka, Marka, Sarakole, Sarakolle, Sarakule, Sarakulle, Serahule Dialects: Azer (Adjer, Aser), Kinbakka, Kinxenna. Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Northwestern, Soninke-Bobo, Soninke-Boso, Soninke Comments: Muslim.

More Information

Wolof
[wol] 12,000 in Mauritania (2006), increasing. Status: 5 (Developing). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Alternate Names: Ouolof, Volof, Walaf, Yallof Dialects: Baol, Cayor, Dyolof (Djolof, Jolof), Lebou, Ndyanger. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Senegambian, Fula-Wolof, Wolof Comments: Muslim.

More Information

Zenaga
[zen] South, Mederdra to Atlantic coast. Also in Senegal. 200 in Mauritania, decreasing. Population total all countries: 2,100. Status: 8a (Moribund). Dialects: Related to other Berber languages in basic structure though specific features are quite different. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Zenaga Comments: Bedouins, reported to travel mainly in caravans. Racially, both white and black; the latter are descendants of slaves captured centuries ago. Muslim.

More Information