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Soninke is a language spoken by perhaps 1,000,000 people in Mali, Senegal and Mauritania.

One of the Mande Tan group of Niger-Congo languages, is spoken in inland West Africa where Mali, Senegal and Mauritania meet. In Wolof, the main language of Senegal, the language is called Sarakolle which is the Soninke word for light colored person. The Mandekan word for Soninke is Maraka.

The Susu and Soninke were among the early enemies of the Empire of Mali in the 13th Century. Some Soninke words are recorded by Arabic authors in the 12th Century through the 14th Century. Under the name Saracole, Soninke figures in a multilingual glossary made for the French Royal Senegal Company in 1690.

Since their territory was acquired by France, many Soninke have emigrated there, and Soninke serves as a Lingua Franca in West African communities in French cities.

How to count to ten in Soninke, with pronunciation in American pseudo-english and IPA/ASCII :

  1. bah-nay /bAne/
  2. fee-low /filo/
  3. seek-oh /siko/
  4. naxato /nAksAto/
  5. karago /kArAgo/
  6. too-moo /tumu/
  7. neroo /neru/
  8. say-goo /segu/
  9. ka-boo /kAbu/
  10. ta-moo /tamu/

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