Languages of Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone is a multilingual country, with 25 languages.[1] English is the de facto official language, and Krio is the most widely spoken and is spoken in different countries.

Other major languages include Mende, which is spoken by 29.5% of the population as a mother tongue and as a lingua franca in southern Sierra Leone, and Temne, which is spoken by 24.7% as a mother tongue and also as a lingua franca in northern Sierra Leone. Other languages include Kono, Kissi, Kuranko, Limba, Fula (Pular) and Susu.

Although English, as the official language, is spoken in schools, government administration and the media, Krio is spoken as a lingua franca in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone. Krio, an English-based creole language, is the mother tongue of 10.5% of the population but is spoken by 90% of Sierra Leoneans.[2][3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lewis, M. Paul, Gary F. Simons, and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2014. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Seventeenth edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International. (Page on "Sierra Leone.)
  2. ^ "Republic of Sierra Leone" (in French). Trésor de la langue française au Québec. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Zahurul Alam (27 December 2002). "Bangla Made One of The Official Languages of Sierra Leone". Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2016.