Mandinka (Mandi'nka kango / لغة مندنكا)

Mandinka is a Mande language with about 1.3 million speakers (in 2006) in Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Chad. It is the main language of The Gambia, and is recognised as a minority language in Senegal. Mandinka is also known as Mandingo.

There are versions of the Latin and Arabic scripts for writing Mandinka. The Latin script is official, but the Arabic script is used by more people, and is older. The N'Ko script is also used in north east Guinea, and in neighbouring parts of Ivory Coast and Mali.

Araic alphabet for Mandinka

Mandinka Arabic alphabet and pronunciation

Latin alphabet for Mandinka

Mandinka Latin alphabet and pronunciation


Long vowels are indicated by doubling: aa, ee, etc.

Sample text in Mandinka

Mung ne ye a tinna ñankaroo mang kungo soto

Kabiring Alla ye daafengolu bee dadaa, a naata kungolu fanaa bee dadaa ì ye. Kabiring kung taa siita, daafengolu bee taata ì kungolu taa. Bari seewoo le labanta ka taa a kungo taa.

Biring a be bo kang nang kung taadulaa to, a ning ñankaroo benta siloo kang, wo fanaa be taa kang a kungo taa kang. Bitung ñankaroo ye seewoo ñininkaa ko, “Kori kungolu mang bang jee?” Seewoo ko a ye ko, “Kungolu mennu tuta jee to, nte le fanaa kungo ñiiñaata wolu ti.”

Ñankaroo ko a ye ko, “Wo to nte fanaa faata wolu la le.”

Wo le ye a tinna ñankaroo mang kungo soto.


Samples of spoken Mandinka

Information about Mandinka | Numbers


Information about the Mandinka language

Mandinka lessons

Mandinka phrases

Mande languages

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

Other languages written with the Latin and Arabic scripts

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