L1 users: 669,000 (2006 J. Leclerc). Total users in all countries: 1,325,000.
Sedhiou region: Casamance river north to The Gambia; Ziguinchor region: south of Casamance river; Kolda region: southeast border with Guinea, Oussadou area.
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].