Mandinka / Maninka / Mandingo / Mandinga  
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  • belongs to the Mande branch of the Niger-Congo family.

  • spoken by 540 thousand people in Senegal, 400 thousand people in Gambia, and 137 thousand people in Guinea-Bissau.

  • Latin alphabet and Arabic alphabet-based orthographies are widely used for Mandinka; the former is official, but the latter is more widely used and older. In addition, the pan-Mandé writing system N'ko, invented in 1949, is sometimes used.

  • The Arabic script uses no extra letters (apart from, rarely, an extra vowel mark for e), but some of the letters are pronounced differently from in Arabic.

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