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Languages of Senegal

Languages of Senegal

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Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 is a multilingual country - Ethnologue lists 36 languages

French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, which was inherited from the colonial era
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

, is the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

. It is used by the administration and understood by about 15% - 20% of all males and about 1%-2% of all women. Several of the Senegalese languages have the status of "national language
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

s": Balanta-Ganja;Hassaniyya; Jola-Fonyi
Jola language
Jola or Diola is the name for a dialect cluster spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Guinea Bissau. It belongs to the Bak branch of the Niger–Congo language family....

; Mandinka
Mandinka language
The Mandinka language is a Mandé language spoken by millions of Mandinka people in Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Bissau and Chad; it is the main language of The Gambia. It belongs to the Manding branch of Mandé, and is thus fairly...

; Mandjak; Mankanya
Mankanya
Mankanya may refer to either of the following:*The Mankanya language*The Mankanya people...

; Noon
Noon
Noon is usually defined as 12 o'clock in the daytime. The word noon is also used informally to mean midday regarding the location of the sun not the middle of a persons day. Although this is a time around the middle of the day when people in many countries take a lunch break...

(Serer-Noon); Pulaar
Fula language
The Fula or Fulani language is a language of West Africa. It is spoken as a first language by the and related groups from Senegambia and Guinea to Cameroon and Sudan...

; Seereer-Siin
Seereer-Siin language
Serer, sometimes called Serer-Sine "Serer proper" after its prestige dialect, is a language of the Senegambian branch of Niger–Congo spoken by 1.2 million people in Senegal and 30,000 in The Gambia. It is the principal language of the Serer people.-Classification:Serer is one of the Senegambian...

; Soninke
Soninke language
The Soninke language is a Mande language spoken by the Soninke people of West Africa. The language has an estimated 1,096,795 speakers, primarily located in Mali, and also in Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Ghana...

; and Wolof
Wolof language
Wolof is a language spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania, and is the native language of the Wolof people. Like the neighbouring languages Serer and Fula, it belongs to the Atlantic branch of the Niger–Congo language family...

.

In terms of usage, Wolof
Wolof language
Wolof is a language spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania, and is the native language of the Wolof people. Like the neighbouring languages Serer and Fula, it belongs to the Atlantic branch of the Niger–Congo language family...

 is the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 and the most widely spoken language in Senegal, as a first or second language (80%). Wolof is related to Fula
Fula language
The Fula or Fulani language is a language of West Africa. It is spoken as a first language by the and related groups from Senegambia and Guinea to Cameroon and Sudan...

 (Pulaar), which is also spoken by a large part of the population.

Mande languages spoken include Soninke
Soninke language
The Soninke language is a Mande language spoken by the Soninke people of West Africa. The language has an estimated 1,096,795 speakers, primarily located in Mali, and also in Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Ghana...

, and Mandinka
Mandinka language
The Mandinka language is a Mandé language spoken by millions of Mandinka people in Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Bissau and Chad; it is the main language of The Gambia. It belongs to the Manding branch of Mandé, and is thus fairly...

. Jola
Jola language
Jola or Diola is the name for a dialect cluster spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Guinea Bissau. It belongs to the Bak branch of the Niger–Congo language family....

 (Diola) is a main language in the Casamance
Casamance
Casamance is the area of Senegal south of The Gambia including the Casamance River. It consists of Basse Casamance and Haute Casamance...

region.

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