Senegal is a multilingual country:
Ethnologue lists 36 languages,
Wolof being the most widely spoken language.
French, which was inherited from the colonial era, is the official
language of Senegal. It is used by the administration and understood
by about 15–20% of all males and about 1–2% of all women.
Senegal is a member State of the Organisation internationale de la
Francophonie. A Senegalese, Abdou Diouf, held the position of its
Executive Secretary between 2003 and 2014.
Several of the Senegalese languages have the status of "national
languages": Balanta-Ganja, Hassaniya Arabic, Jola-Fonyi, Mandinka,
Mandjak, Mankanya, Noon (Serer-Noon), Pulaar, Serer, Soninke, and
In terms of usage, Wolof is the lingua franca and the most widely
spoken language in Senegal, as a first or second language
Mande languages spoken include Soninke, and Mandinka. Jola (Diola) is
a main language in the
Casamance region. The Guinea Creole dialect,
based on Portuguese is also spoken in that region. In 2008 Senegal,
due to its historical connections to Portuguese colonisation in
Casamance, was admitted as Associate Observer in the
of Portuguese Language Countries).
Education for the deaf in
Senegal uses American Sign Language,
introduced by the deaf American missionary Andrew Foster. A local
language is Mbour Sign Language.
A report for the High Council of Francophonie in Paris stated in 1986
that in Senegal, 60,000 people spoke French as a first language and
700,000 spoke French as a second language. The total population of
Senegal at the time was 6.5 million.
^ Jacques Leclerc (2010-10-04). "Sénégal". Tlfq.ulaval.ca. Retrieved
^ Meisler, Stanley. "Seduction Still Works : French--a Language
in Decline." Los Angeles Times. March 1, 1986. Retrieved on May 18,
Dumont, Pierre (1982). Le français et les langues africaines au
Sénégal. Paris: AACT and Karthala.
Linguistic map of
Senegal at Muturzikin.com
Local language resources from Peace Corps Senegal
Ethnologue page on Senegal
PanAfrican L10n page on Senegal
Linguistic situation in
Senegal (In French)
Languages of Senegal
Languages of Africa
Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire)
São Tomé and Príncipe
States with limited
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Canary Islands / Ceuta / Melilla (Spain)
Mayotte / Réunion (France)
Saint Helena / Ascension Island / Tristan da
Cunha (United Kingdom)
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