Languages of Sierra Leone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sierra Leone is a multilingual country.[1] English is the de facto official language, and Krio is the most widely spoken.

Other major languages include Mende, which is spoken by 31% of the population as a mother tongue and as a lingua franca in southern Sierra Leone, and Temne, which is spoken by 37% as a mother tongue and also as a lingua franca in the northern province, north Western province, and other part of Sierra Leone and some part of the Capital and the Western Area. Other languages include Kono, Kissi, Kuranko, Limba, Fula (Pular), Mandingo 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]

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.