A language of Senegal

Alternate Names
Mande, Manding, Mandingo, Mandingue, Mandinque, Socé

669,000 in Senegal (2006). Population total all countries: 1,346,000.


Sedhiou region: Casamance river north to The Gambia; Ziguinchor region: south of Casamance river; Kolda region: southeast border with Guinea, Oussadou area.

Language Status

5 (Developing). Recognized language (2005, Decree No. 982 of 21 October).


None known. 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 [mlq], 53% with Eastern Maninkakan [emk], 48% with Bambara [bam]. A member of macrolanguage Mandingo [man].

Language Use

All ages. Also use Upper Guinea Crioulo [pov]. Used as L2 by Badyara [pbp], Balanta-Ganja [bjt], Gusilay [gsl], Jola-Fonyi [dyo], Karon [krx], Mlomp [mlo].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Magazines. Grammar. Bible: 2013.

Arabic script [Arab]. Latin script [Latn].

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