A language of Mauritania

Alternate Names
Hasanya, Hasanya Arabic, Hassani, Hassania, Hassaniya, Hassaniyya Arabic, Klem El Bithan, Maure, Moor
Hassaniyya, حسانية‎‎‎ (Ḥassānīya)

3,360,000 in Mauritania (2016), increasing. Total users in all countries: 8,842,800.



Language Status

3 (Wider communication). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6).


None known. 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.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use French [fra], Standard Arabic [arb]. Used as L2 by Pulaar [fuc], Soninke [snk], Zenaga [zen].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 40% in Arabic [arb], 25% in French [fra]. Literacy in Hassaniyya not encouraged by the government. Literature. Radio. Dictionary.


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

Other Comments

White Maure are called Bithan, also used for Maures in general. Black Maures are called Haratine. Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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