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The Mandinka language (Mandi'nka kango), or Manding, is a Mandé language spoken by the Mandinka people of Mali, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Bissau and Chad; it is the main language of the Gambia. It belongs to the Manding branch of Mandé, and is thus fairly similar to Bambara and Maninka or Malinké. In a majority of areas, it is tonal language with two tones: low and high, although the particular variety spoken in the Gambia and Senegal is non-tonal and uses a pitch accent. Latin and Arabic script-based alphabets 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, the N'Ko alphabet, invented in 1949, is often used in north east Guinea, and bordering communities in Ivory Coast and Mali. 

Also Called:

Mandé, Mande, Manding, Mandinga, Mandingo, Mandingue, Mandinque, Socé