Bobo language

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Bobo Fing
Region Burkina, Mali
Ethnicity Bobo
Native speakers
220,000 (1995–2007)[1]
  • Mande
    • Western Mande
      • Northwestern
        • Soninke–Bobo
          • Bɔbɔ
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
bwq – Southern
bbo – Konabéré
Glottolog bobo1253[2]
Languages of Burkina Faso.png
Majority areas of Bobo speakers, in medium yellow, on a map of Burkina Faso

Bobo (Bɔbɔ; also known as Bobo Fi, Bobo Fign, Bobo Fing, Bobo Mandaré, Black Bobo) is a major Mande language of Burkina Faso; the western city of Bobo Dioulasso is named partly for the Bobo people. Bobo consists of:

  • Southern dialects: Syabéré (Sya), Benge, Sogokiré, Voré, Zara (Bobo Dioula/Jula)
  • Northern a.k.a. Konabéré dialects: Yaba, Sankuma (Sarokama), Jèrè, Tankri, Kure, Kukoma (Koma).

Northern and Southern Bobo share only 20%–30% intelligibility according to Ethnologue, and by that standard are considered separate languages.

The terms Bobo Fing 'Black Bobo' and Bobo Mandaré are used to distinguish them from Bobo Gbe 'White Bobo' and the Bobo Oule 'Red Bobo' of Burkina.


  1. ^ Southern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Konabéré at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bobo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 

External links[edit]