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Languages of Mauritania

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Title: Languages of Mauritania  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Languages of Africa, Zenaga language, Languages of the Comoros, Languages of Madagascar, Languages of São Tomé and Príncipe
Collection: Languages of Mauritania
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Languages of Mauritania

Anti corruption campaign in Nouakchott, in Arabic and French


  • Afro-Asiatic languages (formerly known as hamito-semitic) 1
  • French 2
  • Niger-Congo languages 3
  • Notes 4
    • See also 4.1
  • External links 5

Afro-Asiatic languages (formerly known as hamito-semitic)

  • Arabic
    • Literary Arabic is the official language.
    • Hassaniyya is the local and oral form of Arabic. It is close to the language used by the Bedoins. It is the language used by the majority of the Mauritanian population. It is also the language of the Imraguen who also use elements of Soninké.
  • Berber
    • Zenaga: Still used in the south of the country, close to the River Sénégal, the last vestige of the Berber identity in Mauritania. Those who use it are known are Zenaga, after the language they speak. Otherwise, most of the Moor population speak Berber languages. Islamisation and Arabisation of the population have meant that much of this population have lost all ties with this world. In 1978, even the term Arabo-Berber to designate the Moors was replaced by Arab.
    • Tamasheq: Tamasheq (language of the Touaregs) is present in the extreme south-east of the country, close to the Malian border.


Due to colonialism, European languages are often present in the African continent. Mauritania is no exception to this rule. Mauritania is a member of Francophonie. Most of the population speak French. The historic ties with France are still present, although Mauritania has also become more Arabised.

Niger-Congo languages


  1. ^ English: Fula; French: Peul; in central and eastern West Africa the endonym is Fulfulde

See also

External links

  • Linguistic map of Mauritania at

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