Languages of Mauritania
The languages of Mauritania mainly consist of various Afroasiatic languages, including the Berber Zenaga and Tamasheq idioms, as well as Arabic. French is also spoken due to colonial influence, and some ethnic minorities speak Niger-Congo languages.
Afro-Asiatic languages (formerly known as Hamito-Semitic)
- Zenaga: Speech more widespread in the past but still spoken in the south of the country, close to the River Sénégal. Those who use it are eponymously known as Zenaga. Otherwise, most of the Moor population speak Berber languages. Islamisation and Arabisation of the population have meant that much of this population have lost all ties with this world. In 1978, even the term Arabo-Berber to designate the Moors was replaced by Arab.
- Tamasheq: Tamasheq (Berber language of the Tuareg) is spoken in the extreme south-east of the country, close to the Malian border.
Due to colonialism, Indo-European languages are often present on the African continent. Mauritania is no exception to this rule. It is a member of La Francophonie. Much of the population also speaks or understands some French.
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