A language of Burkina Faso

Alternate Names
Mole, Moose, More, Moré, Moshi, Mossi

6,360,000 in Burkina Faso (2009 UNSD). Total users in all countries: 7,829,300.


Widespread. Central Ouagadougou area.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication). De facto language of national identity. Used as a trade language in the central part of the country, with sub-populations in all major cities.


Saremdé, Taolendé, Yaadré, Ouagadougou, Yaande, Zaore (Joore), Yana (Jaan, Yanga). Yana dialect has over 90% intelligibility with the Ouagadougou dialect 75%–80% with the Joore dialect. Joore with Ouagadougou varies from 88% in Tibga to 95% in Diabo. Yanga in Togo, completely intelligible with Central Mòoré.


SVO; postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals after noun heads; question word final; word order distinguishes subjects, objects; CV, CVC, CVV, CCV; tonal.

Language Use

Dominant African language of Burkina Faso. Used by all. Also use Jula [dyu]. Used as L2 by Bisa [bib], Dagaari Dioula [dgd], Gourmanchéma [gux], Kasem [xsm], Koromfé [kfz], Lyélé [lee], Malba Birifor [bfo], Matya Samo [stj], Maya Samo [sym], Sininkere [skq], Southern Nuni [nnw], Southern Samo [sbd].

Language Development

Not taught in government schools. Radio. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1983.


Braille script [Brai], developed in 2010. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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