Senegal - Sénégal (SN)

1.  Language information / Données sur les langues

1.1  Languages spoken / Langues parlées

a) Official / Officielle(s) :


b) National, indigenous / Nationale(s), indigène(s) :

Diola, Fula (Pulaar), Serer, Soninké, Malinké, Wolof are listed as national languages (and any other language legally designated as such).

Ethnologue lists 38 languages at ("31 are indigenous and 7 are non-indigenous")

c) Relevant pages in the Major Languages section of this report / Pages appropriées dans la section de ce rapport sur les Langues principales :

Wolof, Fula (Pulaar), Serer, Soninke, Manding

1.2  Language policy / Politique de langue

a) Laws/legislation / Lois/législation :

The site L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde has a page on Senegal at (see section 3).

b) Agencies / Agences :


c) Languages in education/literacy / Langues dans l'éducation/l'alphabétisation :

Although French is the official language of Senegal, the current policy objective is to have students read in the predominant language of their region. These include Wolof, Serer, Fulfulde (Pulaar), Diola, Mandingue (Manding), and Sarakole (Soninke). (Webbook)

Senegal seems to be pushing forward with production of materials for primary instruction in national languages. Relevant conferences and decisions:

  • The Etats Généraux de l'Education et de la Formation in 1981 may be "considered as the first serious effort toward the recognition and development of Senegalese languages - in particular Wolof - as media of Edication" (Ka 1993)

UNDP (2006) gives a literacy figure (without reference to which language[s]) of: 39.3%

1.3  Writing in national/indigenous languages / Ecriture en langues nationales/indigènes

a) Orthographies / Orthographes :

Before colonisation, and still to some degree today, the Arabic script was used to write national languages (and in these cases referred to as Ajami). It is apparently still used by some.

Introduction of the Latin alphabet for writing indigenous languages may have occurred in early (and aborted) attempts to use Wolof in primary schooling.

Currently, national languages are written in the Latin alphabet with some additional modified letters (extended characters) and diacritics. A chart showing the extended Latin characters and diacritics used in some Senegalese languages is available at

There is a current (2007) effort to harmonise the orthographies of Senegalese languages involving the Académie des langues nationales & Commission nationale consultative d'élaboration de proposition de décrets d'orthographes [need more info]]

b) Print publications / Editions imprimées :

There is at least one non-governmental organisation actively involved in publication of materials in Senegalese languages: ARED (particularly in Pulaar).

1.4  Other comments / Autre commentaire

2.  ICT situation / Situation des TIC

2.1  Infrastructure / Infrastructure

a) Telephones / Téléphones :

  • Fixed lines: Telephone mainlines: 25 per 1000 people (APC)
  • Mobile subscriptions: 783,000 (7.6 per 100 people) (ITU 2004 cited in Vodafone 2005)

b) Radio stations / Stations de radio :

c) Connectivity / Connectivité :

  • International internet bandwidth / Bande passante internationale d'internet :
  • ISPs / FSI :
  • Geographic coverage / Couverture géographique :

DSL service was made available to dial-up internet subscribers in 2005.

2.2  Computer & internet access / Accès aux ordinateurs et à l'internet

a) Computers & points of access / Ordinateurs et lieux d'accès :

  • Number of computers / Nombre d'ordinateurs: 18.6 per 1000 people (APC)
  • Cybercafés / Cybercafés:
  • Project telecentres / Télécentres de projets:

b) Internet / Internet :

  • Dial-up subscribers / Abonnés par ligne téléphonique :
  • Internet users / Utilisateurs de l'internet : 482,000 Internet users as of Sept/05, 4.4% of the population, per ITU (Internet World Stats)

c) Other / Autre :

  • Digital Opportunity Index (DOI): 0.30 (ITU 2006)

2.3  ICT policy / Politique de TIC

The APC page, "ICT Policy in Senegal" has some information and links:

2.4  ICT4D/E & ICT training / TIC pour le développement/éducation, et formation en TIC

2.5  Resources / Ressources

  • Institut Africain d'Informatique (IAI), Cameroon (also serves Senegal)
  • Senegalese Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC - Senegal)

3.  Localisation situation / Situation de localisation

3.1  Country web content / Contenu web du pays

3.2  Web content in indigenous languages / Contenu web en langues indigènes

(See also specific language pages.)

3.3  Software localisation / Localisation de logiciel

Microsoft concluded an agreement with the Senegalese govt. for localisation of its Windows software.

(See also specific language pages.)

3.4  Projects & organisations / Projets et organisations

3.5  Localisation policy / Politique de localisation

4.  References / Références

APC, "ICT Policy in Senegal," Africa ICT Policy Monitor, ("Politiques de TIC en/au Sénégal," Observatoire des politiques des TIC en Afrique, )

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

International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 2006. World Information Society Report 2006. Geneva: ITU.

______. 2004. African Telecommunication Indicators 2004. Geneva: ITU.

Internet World Stats: Africa. 2006.

Ka, Omar. 1993. "Senegalese languages in education: The First Congress of Wolof." In Joshua Fishman, ed., The Earliest Stage of Language Planning: The "First Congress" Phenomenon. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Pp. 305-320.

Le Soleil, "Académie des langues nationales - Un outil pour cimenter la nation,"

Leclerc, Jacques. L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, "Sénégal,"

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

UNDP. 2006. ''Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. Human Development Report 2006.'' New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). [Human development index Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) (HDI) ]

Vodafone. 2005. "Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones." The Vodafone Policy Paper Series, Number 3, March 2005.

Wikipedia, "Languages of Senegal,"

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