A Niger-Congo language and a member of the Mande branch, spoken by over 2 million people as a first or second language mainly in the Republic of Mali, with some speakers in adjoining areas to the south and west (e.g. Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Gambia, etc.).
Also known as Bamanakan, Bambara is spelt in the Roman alphabet standardised in the 1960s. It is a tonal language, which is probably the most important property of all the languages of the Mande family. The contrast between high and low tones is phonemic. There is a close similarity between Bambara and its sister languages Malinke and Dyula.
CLASSIFICATION = Niger-Congo family family , SCRIPT = Roman