A language of Senegal

Alternate Names
Diola, Diola-Fogny, Dyola, Jola, Jola-Fogny, Joola-Fogny, Jóola, Kujamataak, Kújoolaak kati Kúfooñaak, Yola
Jóola-Fóoñi, kújoolaay

340,000 in Senegal. 243,000 Fonyi, 96,700 Buluf. 34,000 monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 397,100.


Sédhiou region: Casamance river area north of Senegal-Gambia border; Ziguinchor region: Bignona area and east and southeast of Ziguinchor town.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing). Recognized language (2001, Constitution, Article 1).


Buluf, Kombo, Kalounaye, Narang. Jola-Fonyi is the largest and most widely understood Jola variety. Lexical similarity: 68% with Jola-Kasa [csk].

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains, oral and written use in administration, informal use in education. Oral use in commerce, traditional religion, some use in other religious services. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use French [fra], Mandinka [mnk], Upper Guinea Crioulo [pov], Wolof [wol]. Used as L2 by Bandial [bqj], Gusilay [gsl], Karon [krx], Kuwaataay [cwt], Mankanya [knf], Mlomp [mlo], Pulaar [fuc].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 10%. Experimental pilot classes since 2002. Buluf dialect seems to have many lexical items different from Fonyi, but Buluf speakers are willing to learn to read Fonyi. Radio. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2012.


Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab]. Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Distinct from Jula [dyu] (Dioula, Dyoula, Dyula) of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Côte d’Ivoire. Muslim, Christian, traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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