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Resources on African languages?

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by D. Gray Warrior, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

    My fantasy world is going to be based on the Malian Empire, at least as a starting point.

    Of course, I am going to need names and a conlang. Does anyone have any resources on languages spoken in the Mali Empire. All I know about Malinke (the Malian language) is that it is tonal.
  2. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Inkling

    It's my understanding that in West Africa many languages are spoken. Are you looking for resources on one in particular or for some general information to use as inspiration?

    According to this site the Malian Empire (by which I assume you're referring to the one w Mansa Musa) had linguistic diversity. It appears you have a choice but Bambara is currently spoken by 80% of the people in the region .

    I'm not sure if Malinke is synonymous w Maninka but if it is, it appears to use the N'Ko alphabet system. You might also find this helpful. Malinke might be more historically accurate but I'm guessing it'd be easier to find resources on Bambara. It depends on what your intentions are for research though...

    If you're building your own language and just need a real world language for inspiration, you could try using a different West African language such as Igbo - which has a very long history and can be learned on mango languages (check w your local library- you might be able to get it for free). If you're going for general African, Mango also offers Swahili though as far as I know, it's not native to West Africa. I'm pretty sure Swahili is more Eastern but I'd have to check to be sure.

    Hope this helps.
  3. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Inkling

    Just googled "Learn Bambara" and a bunch of stuff popped up. The 2 languages are supposed to be closely related - I guess like Urdu & Hindi or Portuguese & Spanish. If you're just using it as inspiration for sounds and grammar this is probably the more prudent way to go.

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