Mande languages

A subgroup of Niger-Congo languages spoken in West Africa.

Language profiles for selected Mande languages

Mande languages with profiles under the Major languages section include:

Among the additional languages under the More languages heading:

Note about writing systems

The Mande group of languages has seen the invention of four separate writing systems. With the exception of N'Ko, none are very widely used today:

  • Vai script
  • KiKaKui (Mende)
  • N'ko
  • A writing system for Bambara invented in Western Mali in the 1920s (not in current use)

Many Mande languages, and all the most widely spoken ones, have been written to one degree or another in the Latin alphabet (with extended characters and sometimes diacritics to mark tones). Historically and to some degree today, some are written in the Arabic script.

Other information

Ethnologue language family tree

Maho, Jouni, Web Resources on African Languages, (page on "Mande languages" )

Wikipedia, "Mande languages,"