Dan is a Southeastern Mande language spoken by about 2 million people mainly in western Ivory Coast / Côte d'Ivoire and northeastern Libera, and also in Guinea. In Ivory Coast Dan speakers can be found particularly in and around the city of Man in the Montagnes District of the Tonkpi Region.

Dan is also known as Yacouba or Yakubasa, Gio, Gyo, Gio-Dan or Da. Dialects include Liberian Dan (Gio), Eastern Dan (Gweetaawu), Western Dan (Blowo) and Northern Dan (Kla). Eastern, Western and Northern Dan are spoken in Ivory Coast, while Liberian Dan is spoken in Liberia. Northern Dan (Kla) is generally considered a separate language.

Dan is written with the Latin alphabet, and there different spelling systems for each dialect. Eastern Dan spelling was devised in 1970, and revised in 1982 and 2014. Western Dan spelling was devised in 1974. There are translations of the Bible and other religious texts, collections of folktales, and a newspaper in Dan.

Dan alphabets and pronunciation

Western Dan alphabet (Côte d'Ivoire)

Western Dan alphabet (Côte d'Ivoire)

Eastern Dan alphabet (Côte d'Ivoire)

Eastern Dan alphabet (Côte d'Ivoire)

Liberian Dan alphabet (Liberia)

Liberian Dan alphabet (Liberia)


Download alphabet charts for Dan (Excel)

Sample text

'Bhouou waa- diông 'wo bhe -wo -ke 'bhaze- 'ka. Yi do 'ka 'eu 'wo dho .nie’ .dhia. .Dhè 'wo dho, .dhè 'wo -a -ga wo 'dhieu bhe, 'wo wu kwi do yeu 'ma. Wu kwi bhe, .dhè 'wo -a yeu 'eu 'wo -a -ga. 'Eu 'bhouou -yeu -a peu: -Ko .yoon -a -bha! 'Eu 'wo .yôôn, .Dhè 'eu 'wo .yôôn, 'eu diông -yeu -a peu: Pe 'eu bhe wu kwi -mu! 'Eu 'bhouou -yeu -a peu: É! -Me wu 'eu -a kwi 'dheu .nè è? 'Eu diông -yeu -a peu: -Yeu -ke .nè -bhueu kwi 'dheu o! 'Eu -a peu: Aa! Keu -ko -a -bheu! .Dhè ke 'peu 'wo -a -bheu.

Translation (French)

Autrefois l’hyène et le renard étaient des amis. Un jour ils vont se promener. Tout à coup, devant eux, ils aperçoivent une peau. Ils s’arrêtent pour la regarder. L’hyène dit: “Approchons-nous!” Le renard ajoute: “C’est une peau de bête!” L’hyène veut savoir de quel animal vient cette peau. Le renard dit: “Ell ressemble à une peau d’antilope.” L’hyène s’exclame: “Ah, mangeons-la!” Etant d’accord, ils la mangent.

Source: Daôn peu 'seedhè / Contes Yacouba

Sample videos


Information about the Dan languages

Mande languages

Bambara, Busa, Dan, Dioula, Kpelle, Loma, Mandinka, Maninka, Mano, Mende, Soninke, Susu, Vai

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 26.06.23. Last modified: 27.06.23


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