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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Defense
5. Health
6. Education
a. Universities
7. Demographics
8. Religions
a. Freedom
9. Peoples
10. Languages
11. Human rights
12. History
13. Cities and Towns

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Languages
Open map of MauritaniaFlag of MauritaniaMauritania /

Figures in 1000.
Semitic 2,600 76.0%
2,600 76.0%
2,600 76.0%
Niger-Congo 800 24.0%
320 9.4%
300 8.8%
100 3.0%
80 1.5%
0.8 <0.1%


Islamic manuscripts from the library of Chinguetti.

Moors speak Hassaniya Arabic, which is a form of Arabic with many Berber words. The grammar, however, is mainly Arabic. Hassaniya Arabic is main language of Mauritania, but not its only official.
French is the second official language of Mauritania. Both French and Arabic are widely used in schools and universties, as well as in media and administration. There are no reports on French being used as first language.
Toucouleur and Fulani peoples speak Pulaar, while the Soninke speak Soninke and the Wolof speak Wolof. All these languages are national languages of Mauritania since 1991.
Information on how many speakers there are of these languages is conflicting. Ethnologue states that only 12,000 speak Wolof in 2006, whereas other sources indicate that a strong majority of the 240,000 being of the Wolof people speak their native tongue.
The language of Imraguen is a unique language to Mauritania and unclassified, but is sometimes classified under Arabic. It is related to Hassaniya Arabic but structured on Soninke, and spoken by the indigenous population, also called Imraguen.

By Tore Kjeilen