Languages of Guinea

Guinea is a multilingual country, are spoken in the country as many native languages ​​of West African languages.

However, the official language of the Republic of Guinea is a language that was introduced under the French rule: French. It has remained the official language of the country after independence due to the continuing close ties Guinea to France. It is the language of the state and public institutions. The national languages ​​are the Fulani ( Peul also ) or the regional dialect of Pulaar, the Mandinka (or Maninka ), the Koniake (or Konia ), the Susu, Kissi, the, the Guerze (or Kpelle ) and Toma. There also exist more than 40 other languages.

French as an official language

The French is now used by 15 to 25% of the population. At the end of the reign of Ahmed Sékou Touré at the beginning of the 1980s, the French were again the only language of instruction in schools.

The use of French is expanding since the last decades strong in Guinea from what is primarily at the expense of the national languages ​​. In 2002, the number of speakers who now dominated French as a mother tongue was, 2% of the total population. According to the Guinean authorities a new estimate from 2007 showed a sharp increase in the numbers of speakers only in the last five years since 2002: The number of French speakers already was 21.1 % and the number of partly French-speaking was even 42.1%. In summary, now have 6 million persons, ie 63.2 % of the total, partial or complete knowledge of the French language. The number of speakers of the languages ​​, however, is on the wane.

West African Languages

The Peul is mostly spoken in central Guinea, whose main center is Labé. A total of 32 % of the population speak the language. The Malinke is spoken mainly in Upper Guinea, where the main center of Kankan is. 16.2% of the population speak Malinke. The Susu is mostly spoken in Maritime Guinea, whose capital is Conakry; Conakry is also the capital of the country. Susu is spoken by 10% of the total population. The Koniake (6.8%), the Guerze (3.8%), the Kissi (3.5%) and Toma (1.8%) are spoken in Forest Guinea. The Guerze is spoken in Nzérékoré and in Yomou. Also the Koniake is in Nzérékoré, but the capital of the Koniake - speakers is Beyla; the Kissi is spoken in Guéckédou and in Kissidougou. Finally, the Kono is a language that is used in the southern Guinea, especially in Lola.

The main languages ​​of the inhabitants of the capital Conakry are, in descending from speaker share her order: The Susu ( Soso ) with 42%, the Pular ( Peul ) with 30 %, the Maninka with 13%, the Koniake with 8%, the Kissi with 4% that Guerze with 4%, French 2% and 2% with Toma.

Writing Systems

The national languages ​​are written with the help of several alphabets: The native N'Ko font, the font Konia, the Kpelle script, the Latin script since the French colonial period and the Arabic script since the arrival of Muslim missionaries from Arab countries.

The N'Ko alphabet is used primarily by the Mandinka and other Mandevölkern. In Beyla using the Konia alphabet for the Koniake. The Kpelle script is the native font of the Kpelle - people.

The Latin alphabet was standardized after the political change of government in 1984 with the African reference alphabet as well as used and as a national alphabet by decree (no 19/PRG of 10 March 1989) was adopted. It is now used in education in the teaching of the national language.

The Arabic alphabet or the Adschami font has been harmonized and normalized (Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ) and UNESCO recently under the aegis of ISESCO. It is used mainly by the Fulani for their language Pulaar.