Mandingo - also called Mandinka - is a member of the Manding branch of the Niger-Congo language family of Mande. It is the official language of Senegal, and it is also spoken and is also spoken by Mandinka people in Mali, Gambia, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Bissau and Chad. It is the main language of The Gambia.
CLASSIFICATION = Latin alphabet and Arabic alphabet-based orthographies are widely used for Mandinka; the former is official, but the latter is more widely used and older. In addition, the pan-Mandé writing system, the N'Ko alphabet, invented in 1949, is often used in north east Guinea, and bordering communities in Côte d'Ivoire and Mali.