John 南强 남재원
Community Tutor
Bambara, Malinke and the Manding languages. Hi everyone! I've read about Bambara, Malinke and other related languages (dialects?). Its on my bucket list to learn an African language. I only haven't done so yet because there are limited resources. For this reason and because I like the style of the language I have had an interest in learning Malinke. But it seems Bambara, Malinke and other languages are considered to be the same language. Is this so? And if so how similar are they and which one might should I learn? Thank you to anyone who can help me!
Jan 20, 2017 1:52 AM
Answers · 3
Wow thank you so much! I posted that a long time ago, and still have an interest in this language group, despite having yet to learn it. You give me new information and inspiration for it. Thanks again!
May 10, 2019
Hi London! All of those varieties are Manding. Jula and Bambara are particularly close -- as close as American and British English perhaps. Malinké is slightly further away from the two, but nonetheless widely held by native speakers to be mutually intelligible. In the West, people most typically study Bambara since it is the lingua franca of Mali and also because of the modern-day prestige of the variety in Jula-speaking areas. Malinké-speakers are less likely to regard it as a standard or high-form but they certainly recognize it as closer to a lingua franca variety of Manding when one is outside of Guinea or when speakers of the different varieties interact outside of West Africa. Here's a post discussing the differences between Bambara and Jula ( and you'll find other resources on that site as well.
May 3, 2019
Another language (or dialect) that I was interested in is Djoula but I forgot to mention it here. Which language may be best to study or to speak with the native speakers in your opinions? Et pour les francophonies ici, quelle langue est le plus bon pour étudier ou le plus bon pour parler avec les autres gens, en vos opinions? Et quelles sont les differences entre ces langues? Pensez vous que ces sont dialects our des langues complétement différent?
January 21, 2017
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John 南强 남재원
Language Skills
Arabic (Levantine), Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Mongolian, Portuguese, Thai, Tibetan, Yakut
Learning Language
Arabic (Levantine), Japanese, Kazakh, Mongolian, Portuguese, Thai, Tibetan, Yakut