A language of Burkina Faso

Alternate Names
Black Bobo, Bobo, Bobo Fi, Bobo Fign, Bobo Fing, Northern Bobo Madare

35,000 in Burkina Faso (1995 SIL). Population total all countries: 60,000.


Boucle du Muhoun region: Banwa province, Tansilla area; Kossi province.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Jèrè, Kukoma (Koma), Kure, Sankuma (Sarokama), Tankri, Yaba. Northern Bobo Madaré has 20%–30% intelligibility of Southern Bobo Madaré. All dialects of Northern understand Yaba, centered in Tansilla. Separate literature may be needed for the Mali dialect. Some linguists treat Bobo as a separate major branch of Mande. Sya is the prestige dialect in Mali and used for literature.


CV, CVC, CVV, CCV; tonal.

Language Use

Home. French [fra] is spoken by the educated. Jula [dyu] is also used by most men with good proficiency and some women for common topics, government, and trade.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 5% or below. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 2005.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Ethnonym: Bobo Madaré. ‘Bobo’ is Bambara word for Bobo Madaré, Buamu or Bomu. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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