Susu - Soussou - Sosokui

This page also includes information on Yalunka / cette page comprend aussi de l'information sur le djalonké

1.  Classification / Classification

Susu is a Mande language. Ethnologue lists its classification as follows: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Central-Southwestern, Central, Susu-Yalunka.

2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

It is spoken mainly in coastal Guinea and northern Sierra Leone. There are small numbers of Susu speakers in Guinea Bissau and of Yalunka speakers in Senegal and Mali.

A map of where Susu is spoken is available at

A map of Jallonke/Yalunka areas is available at

3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

According to Ethnologue:

  • Susu:
    • 905,500 in Guinea (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk);
    • 120,000 in Sierra Leone (1989 J. Kaiser);
    • Population total all countries: 1,029,380.
  • Yalunka:
    • 55,514 in Guinea (2002 SIL);
    • 30,000 in Sierra Leone (2002 SIL);
    • 11,250 in Senegal (2002 S. Hejnar NTM);
    • 9,000 in Mali (2002 SIL);
    • Population total all countries: 105,764.
  • Grand total: 1,135,144

4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

Although no thorough dialect surveys of Susu have come to our attention, Voegelin and Voegelin (1977) report that the two dialects are virtually indistinguishable. (Webbook)

Ethnologue considers Yalunka as distinct. "Close to Susu, but only marginally intelligible." It also lists two dialects of Yalunka: Sulima, Firia.

5.  Usage / Utilisation

Susu is an important regional language of northern Sierra Leone and western Guinea (coastal region). (Webbook)

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

A Latin based script has been used for Susu since the colonial period. This has undergone some changes and currently includes some extended characters.

Susu was (is?) also written in Arabic script (Ajami).

[Status of Yalunka?]

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

Susu alphabet as reported by Hartell (1993) and presented in Systèmes alphabétiques:

A sample text is shown on the "Language Museum" site:

7.  Use in ICT / Utilisation dans les TIC

7.1  Fonts / Polices

Unicode fonts with the following extended ranges should suffice for Susu:

7.2  Keyboard layouts / Dispositions de clavier

7.3  Content on computers & internet / Contenu en informatique et sur l'Internet

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

Not aware of any localisation efforts.

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue


  • ISO 639-1: -
  • ISO 639-2: sus
  • ISO 639-3: sus

Yalunka (Djalonké)

  • ISO 639-3: yal

7.6  Other / Autre

8.  Localisation resources / Ressources pour localisation

8.1  Individuals (experts) / Individuelles (experts)

8.2  Institutions / Institutions

8.3  On the internet / Sur la toile

9.  Comments / Remarques

10.  References / Références

Chanard, Christian (2006), Systèmes alphabétiques des langues africaines, LLACAN, CNRS,

Dwyer, David (1997), Webbook of African Languages, (page on "Susu (Yalunka)," )

Hartell, Rhonda L., ed. (1993), The Alphabets of Africa. Dakar: UNESCO and SIL. (The French edition, published the same year, is entitled Alphabets de Langues Africaines).

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Susu,"

______, "Yalunka,"

SIL International, "ISO 639 Code Tables,"

U.S. Library of Congress, "ISO 639.2: Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages: Alpha-3 codes arranged alphabetically by the English name of language,"

Wikipedia, "Soussou (langue),"

______, "Susu language,"

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