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The Republic of Guinea is a multilingual country, with over 40 languages spoken. The official language is French, which was inherited from colonial rule.

Languages of Guinea
OfficialFrench
NationalFula, Malinké, Susu, Kissi, Kpelle (also known in French as Guerzé), Toma
SignedAmerican Sign Language (Francophone African Sign Language)
interethnicFrench, Fula

Several indigenous languages have been given the status of national languages: Fula (or Pular); Malinké (or Maninka); Susu; Kissi; Kpelle (known in French as Guerzé) and Toma.

Government and institutionsEdit

French is the language of state and of official institutions. It is used by 15 to 25% of the population.[1] At the end of the Ahmed Sékou Touré regime, French was the only language used in business and schools.

By regionEdit

Fula (32%)[2] is mostly spoken in Middle Guinea, where the major city is Labé.

Malinké (30%) is mostly spoken in Upper Guinea, where Kankan is the major city. The Kankan variety of the language was used by Solomana Kante for the development of N'Ko, a standardized unified written Manding language, which is increasingly used in lietracy education and publishing books and newspapers in Guinea and neighboring countries.[3][4]

Susu (20%)[5] is mostly spoken in Guinée maritime, where the capital is Conakry.[6]

Guerzé (6.2%), Kissi (4.7%) and Toma (2.8%) are spoken in Guinée Forestière. More specifically, Guerzé is spoken in Nzérékoré and Yomou. Kissi is spoken in Guéckédou and Kissidougou. Kono is a language used in the south of Guinea, mostly in Lola.

ConakryEdit

According to a report by Alpha Mamadou Diallo,[7] the first language of inhabitants of the city of Conakry in decreasing order was: Susu 42%, Pular (Fula) 20%, Maninka(with koniaka) 19%, Kissi 4%, Guerzé 4%, French 2% and Toma 2%.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Linguistic situation in Guinea
  2. ^ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gv.html
  3. ^ Vydrin, Valentin (1999). Manding-English Dictionary : (Maninka, Bamana). Lac-Beauport. p. 8. ISBN 9780993996931. OCLC 905517929.
  4. ^ Donaldson, Coleman (2019-03-01). "Linguistic and Civic Refinement in the N'ko Movement of Manding-Speaking West Africa". Signs and Society. 7 (2): 156–185, 181. doi:10.1086/702554. ISSN 2326-4489.
  5. ^ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gv.html
  6. ^ Dalby, Andrew (28 October 2015). Dictionary of Languages: The definitive reference to more than 400 languages. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 590. ISBN 9781408102145.
  7. ^ Usages et images des langues en guinée, page 17, Alpha Mamadou Diallo, Université de Conakry.