Some Mandinka

The Mandinka language, sometimes referred to as Mandingo, is a Mandé language spoken by millions of Mandinka people in Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Bissau; 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. It is a tonal language with two tones: low and high.

baadaa – beach

daa – price

kambaanoo – boy

londoo – education

mansaaloo – proverb

hidiki – hiccup

saatee – village

taabuloo – table

Try this fun Mandinka Word Search.


  1. Clara-Thanks for your kind words. When I was studying copmarative religion my teacher said that the biggest mistake people make is looking at practitioners of a religion first and what a religion teaches second. He felt that that leads to disappointment and misunderstanding. Human beings being fallible creatures will always fall short of the ideals of any religious teaching.I don’t think a religion can have an ego but a person certainly can! That is , from the Islamic standpoint, what we are supposed to be training. In other worlds a human being has our animal nature and our angelic nature- do deny either will create an imbalance but each needs nurturing and training.I also think you’ll find it interesting that in the Quranic text there is a notion that the Creator sends guides and guidance to all people. This is the universality that you rightly speak of. From my view that differences have to do with the circumstances of the culture and people those guides are sent to. And the language and flavor of each divine dispensation reflects that reality.Two of the greatest Islamic theologians, Al Ghazali and Al Razi both said that Islam can be reduced to two things. Love and serve God. Love and serve His creation.I think that is a truth that runs through all religions. The Buddhist say absolute Reality and we have a similar notion in Islam. Haqiqah is talked about a lot especially in Sufi texts.Sadly we live in a time of injustice. To the extent that justice is gone from the world so is mercy ..these two things seem to be interconnected. to the extent that those are gone their opposites manifest. In Islam we use a scale as a metaphor but it is not dissimilar to yin and yang.I pray that we each find balance, mercy and justice within our selves and that reality can be reflected in all of our interactions in creation. If enough people start doing that, we may be able to manifest a little heaven on earth.I appreciate and value your comments.Wa SalaamB

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