A language of Mali

Alternate Names
Kidal, Kidal Tamasheq, Tamachen, Tamashekin, Timbuktu, Tomacheck, “Tuareg” (pej.)

378,000 in Mali (2014 UNSD). Total users in all countries: 500,000.


Widespread northeast: Tombouctou, Kidal, and Gao regions; some in Mopti region: Youvarou circle.

Language Status

5 (Developing). Recognized language (1982, Decree No. 159 of 19 July, Article 1).


Timbuktu (Tanaslamt, Tombouctou), Tadhaq (Kidal). May be 2 separate languages. A member of macrolanguage Tamashek [tmh].

Language Use

All ages. Used as L2 by Koyra Chiini Songhay [khq], Koyraboro Senni Songhay [ses], Tadaksahak [dsq].

Language Development
The government is actively promoting the language through adult literacy classes. Taught in primary schools. New media. Grammar. NT: 2003.

Latin script [Latn]. Tifinagh (Berber) script [Tfng].

Other Comments

The Bellah were formerly under the Tamasheq economically. Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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