- Mande (this includes Bandi, Gio, Kpelle, Loma, Mandinka (Mandingo), Mano, Mende & Vai) [Here is an interesting map of this language distributed throughout West Africa]
- Atlantic-Congo (this includes the Kru and Mel groups listed in the previous post )
The distribution of these languages is shown in the map below with the Atlantic-Congo family separated into the more specific Kru and Atlantic (Mel) groups:
|Language map of Liberia|
from Ethnologue.com - Used by permission
I don't want to get too technical here. Instead I'd like to give you an opportunity to actually hear some of these languages spoken. I've been searching the internet for audio files of these languages and have found the following examples (most are from missionary translation work of the bible or the Jesus Film). Enjoy hearing Liberia speak!:
- Mandinka (Mandingo tribe)
- Vai (check out the cool script on the opening title sequence --- this is a native script that has an interesting history I hope to share about at a later date)
- Bassa - I also have a post on "How To Count To Ten in Bassa".
- Kuwaa (Bella Tribe) --- (click on the link at the bottom right that reads, "play an audio sample")
- Dewoin (Dei Tribe) (click on the link at the bottom right that reads, "play an audio sample")
- Tchien - Krahn (Krahn Tribe)
Atlantic (Mel) Languages:
Lastly there is actually a Liberian English version recorded as well. That can be heard here. (you will have to select a 'Message' then select a 'version' then click 'hear an audio sample'.) For a brief introduction to Liberian English you can check out my earlier post here.
I hope you enjoyed hearing Liberia speak!