Languages of Guinea

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Languages of Guinea
Official languages French
National languages Fula, Malinké, Susu, Kissi, Kpelle (also known in French as Guerzé), Toma
Sign languages American Sign Language (Francophone African Sign Language)
interethnic French, Fula

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

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.

Fula (32%) 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. Susu (10%) is mostly spoken in Guinée maritime, where the capital is Conakry. Guerzé (3.8%), Kissi (3.5%) and Toma (1.8%) are spoken in Guinée Forestière. More specifically, Guerzé is spoken in Nzérékoré and Yomou. Kissi is spoken in Guéckédou and Kissidougou. Finally, Kono is a language used in the south of Guinea, mostly in Lola.

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

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Linguistic situation in Guinea
  2. ^ Usages et images des langues en guinée, page 17, Alpha Mamadou Diallo, Université de Conakry.