A language of Burkina Faso

Alternate Names
Dafing, Marka Dafing

135,000 in Burkina Faso (2009 UNSD). Total users in all countries: 185,800.


Boucle du Mouhoun region: Bale, Banwa, Nayala, and Sourou provinces; Kossi and Mouhoun provinces: Nouna and Dedougou areas.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Safané, Nouna, Gassan. More than 80% inherent intelligibility of southeastern dialect around Safané; however, northwestern dialect region is 70%. The central dialect around Dembo village is well understood. Reportedly similar to Bambara [bam] or a variant of Jula [dyu]. Comprehension of Jula ranges from 45% in a southeastern villages to 85% in the northwest.


SOV; postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word final; word order distinguishes subject, object, indirect object; CV.

Language Use

Used by all. Also use French [fra]. Also use Jula [dyu], but only men who travel. Used as L2 by Pana [pnq].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 5% haltingly in French [fra], some in Jula [dyu]. Literature. Radio. Grammar. Bible portions: 1987.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Marka is used for followers of the traditional religion, Dafing for Muslim speakers. Different from the Marka dialect of Soninke. Muslim, traditional religion.

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