Languages of Guinea
|Languages of Guinea|
|National languages||Fula, Malinké, Susu, Kissi, Kpelle (also known in French as Guerzé), Toma|
|Sign languages||American Sign Language (Francophone African Sign Language)|
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. 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, 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
- Linguistic situation in Guinea
- Usages et images des langues en guinée, page 17, Alpha Mamadou Diallo, Université de Conakry.