Serer - Sérère - Sereer

1.  Classification / Classification

Sauvageot (personal communication, 1986) reports that "Serer belongs to the Senegal Group of West Atlantic..." (Webbook)

Ethnologue lists the classification as: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Senegambian, Serer

2.  Where Spoken / Localisation géographique

Sauvageot (personal communication, 1986) reports that "Serer ... is spoken in Senegal and Gambia. In Senegal it is spoken in the region of Sine, along the Atlantic coast (from Fadiout to Palmarin) and in part in the region of Baol and Saloum in contact with Wolof." (Webbook)

3.  Number of Speakers / Nombre de locuteurs

According to Ethnologue:

  • 1,154,760 in Senegal (2002)
  • 28,360 in Gambia (2002)
  • Population total all countries: 1,183,120

4.  Dialect Survey / Enquête de dialecte

Sauvageot (personal communication, 1986) states that Serer has four principal dialects:

  • Sine, the most widespread,
  • Ndyegem,
  • the dialect of la Petite Côte (from Fadiout to Palmarin),
  • Nyomi or Nyominka (in the region of Foundiounge and the Saloum Islands and probably around the town of Kaolack).

Serer speakers of Baol and of Saloum exhibit by comparison to the dialect of Sine recognizable dialectal variations attributed to Wolof influence. (Webbook)

Accoording to Ethnologue:

  • Segum
  • Fadyut-Palmerin
  • Sine
  • Dyegueme (Gyegem)
  • Niominka
  • (Niominka and Serere-Sine are inherently intelligible to each other's speakers)

5.  Usage / Utilisation

Serer is a national language in Senegal but is used primarily as a local first language. (Webbook)

Literacy rate (according to Ethnologue, accessed 2007, 2015):

  • L1: below 1%
  • L2: ?

6.  Orthography / Orthographe

6.1  Status / Statut

Serer has an orthography standardized by Senegalese government decree in l975, but not all conventions are agreed upon. (Webbook) [need update]

6.2  Sample Alphabet / Alphabet exemple

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

A sample text of Serer-Sine is shown on the "Language Museum" site:

7.  Use in ICT / Utilisation dans les TIC

7.1  Fonts / Polices

7.2  Keyboard layouts / Dispositions de clavier

The CNRS/LLACAN "AFRO" Tavultesoft Keyman keyboard (for AZERTY) is intended to support this language:

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

None known of.

7.4  Localized software / Logiciels localisés

No localisation efforts are known.

7.5  Language codes / Codes de langue

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

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 "Serer," )

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, "Serer-Sine,"

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, "Serer language,"

______, "Sérère (langue),"érère_(langue)

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Categories: Languages, Senegal, Gambia