Tamasheq (Tafaghist)

Tamasheq is a Berber language spoken by the Turaeg people in Mali, mainly in the northeast in the Gao, Kidal, Tombouctou and Mopti regions. There are also Tamasheq speakers in the northeast of Burkina Faso, particularly in Loroum and Yatenga provinces of the Nord region, and in Oudalen province in the Sahel region. There are about 500,000 speakers of Tamasheq: 378,000 in Mali and 122,000 in Burkina Faso.

Tamasheq has two main dialects in Mali: Timbuktu (Tombouctou, Tanaslamt) and Tadghaq (Kidal). The name Tamasheq is used to refer to all the Tuareg languages. Tamasheq is also known as Tamachen, Tamashek, Tamashekin, Tomacheck, tamachèque, tamasagt or Tuareg.

Tamasheq is a recognized language in Mali and is actively promoted by the government. It is taught in primary schools and literacy classes for adults. It is usually written with the Latin alphabet, and can also be written with the Tifinagh alphabet.

Latin alphabet for Tamasheq

This is the official alphabet for Tamasheq in Mali. It was adopted in 1967 and modified in 1982.

Latin alphabet for Tamasheq as used in Mali

Tifinagh alphabet for Tamasheq

Tifinagh alphabet for Tamasheq

Download alphabet charts for Tamasheq (Excel)

Details provided by Michael Peter Füstumum

How to pronounce Tamasheq:

Sample videos in Tamasheq

Information about Tamasheq | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about Tamasheq

Berber languages

Ancient Berber, Ghadamès, Ghomara, Guanche, Kabyle, Riffian, Shilha (Tashelhit), Shawiya, Shenwa, Siwi, Tamahaq, Tamasheq, Tamazight, Tawallammat Tamajaq, Tayart Tamajeq, Zenaga, Zuwara Berber

Languages written with the Tifinagh alphabet

Kabyle, Riffian, Shilha (Tashelhit), Siwi, Tamasheq, Tamazight, Tayart Tamajeq

Page last modified: 15.03.23


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