(English) Bambara

The Bambara (Bamana) language, Bamanankan, is a lingua franca and national language of Mali spoken by perhaps 15 million people, 5 million Bambara people and about 10 million who use Bambara as second language and are not native speakers of Bambara.


timbuktu mali promosaik



Since 1967, Bambara has mostly been written in the Latin script, using some additional phonetic characters. This is a consequence of French colonialism in the region. Mali was under French occupation from 1880 to 1960.



Like Turkish and Japanese, Bambara is an agglutinative language, meaning that morphemes are glued together to form a word.



Bambara is a Mande language with about 3 million speakers in Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ghana. It is spoken principally among the Bambara ethnic group in Mali, but also other ethnic groups learn and use it to communicate with the majority.  


A funny detail we found about Bambara is the following about the word „Big“ in Bambara.


The word for big in Bambara is Bele Bele Ba, pronounced Billy Billy Bah. Hard to think of a word that is more fun to say. Go ahead. Say it.


The main sub-dialect is standard Bamara, which has significant influence from Western Mainkakan. Bambara has many local dialects. Some of these dialects are Somono, Segou, San, Beledugu, Ganadugu, Wasulu and Sikasso.


Remarkable are songs in Bambara. Malian artists such as Oumou Sangaré, Rokia Traoré, Ali Farka Touré, Salif Keita, Habib Koité, and the blind couple Amadou & Mariam often sing in Bambara. Aïda of the band Métisse often sings in Dioula, as does Mory Kante, born in Guinea to a Malian mother; his most famous song to date is “Yeke Yeke” (Alpha Blondy). Lyrics in Bambara occur on Stevie Wonder‘s soundtrack Journey through the Secret Life of Plants. Tiken Jah Fakoly (reggae) often sings in Dioula and French.



ProMosaik Trans offers translations from and into Bambara in the following fields:

  • Law and Contract Law
  • Patents
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Technology
  • Science
  • Literature
  • Cultural Sciences



A Bambara Proverb:

Ko ladege n’a tìgi tɛ kelen ye.
The student is not above the teacher.



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ProMosaik Trans Istanbul offers the following language combinations from and into Bambara:

German – Bambara

English – Bambara

French – Bambara

Turkish – Bambara

Italian – Bambara

Arabic – Bambara



ProMosaik Trans also offers editing, interpreting, proofreading, and transcription services in Bambara.



Send your translation requests into or from Bambara, with the documents you need to be translated to info@promosaik.com