Adding traditional Manding music related words

I ni ce Coleman and dear fellow forum members!

I’m attracted to learning Bambara mostly because of playing traditional Mandeng instruments (djembe, ngoni, kora, balafon), and I find some of them (and other words related to playing music) are either missing or written so, that it wasn’t obvious for me to find them.

For example,
djembe appears as [jɛnbe] (An ka taa - Manding (Bambara/Jula) Dictionary)
ngoni appears as [nkɔ̀nin] (An ka taa - Manding (Bambara/Jula) Dictionary)
kora appears as [kɔra] (An ka taa - Manding (Bambara/Jula) Dictionary)

I know this is the proper way to write them, but a beginner would just search for kora, djembe, ngoni, and wouldn’t find them… I’m already familiar with the true phonetics, that’s why I could find them…

Then, the words “music” and “musician” are missing, at least from English to Bambara. Would be great to have them, along with some examples, like how to say things like
“I am playing the djembe”
“I am learning how to play the kora”
“I love dancing”
“I love music”
“I love listening to music”

I’m sure many people approach learning Bambara because of listening or learning Mandeng music, so I’m sure these entries will be heartly welcomed. Also could be great to have a youtube video dedicated to words and expression related to music :slight_smile:

Other than these, dear Coleman, your dedication, your work of highest quality is just plain impressive on all levels!!! With everything you do, you bring us closer to the Mandeng culture like nothing else. Congratulations and thank you!!!

Greetings from Brazil,


I ni ce, Boka! Welcome to the Forum and thanks for your ideas!

  • I’ve gone ahead and made some edits in the dictionary to make sure that searches for “music” and “musician” would return some hits.

  • I also added in the English spellings that you mentioned into the English side of the dictionary. Now if someone searches in English for “ngoni”, “djembe” or “kora”, they should get appropriate results! In case some people search in Manding (without knowing how to spell in the language), I’ve added some fallback posts into the Forum. (Since very soon the dictionary and the Forum will be connected via search! The developer version that I’m focused on already works great and I can’t wait to share it!)

  • With that in mind, in the future if you have suggestions for a word or a few of them, think about doing a single post per word and adding them to “Manding missing” or “English missing”. Because, if you do a post with the title “musician” for instance, any searches in the dictionary will also find the topic in this forum!

Have a look in the dictionary and let me know what you think!

(And, cool idea for the YouTube video on music terms! I’m not an expert or a musician at all, but definitely would be fun to learn more and help others! I’ll split off your idea into its own topic in the Forum section for video suggests from patrons :slight_smile: )


wow Coleman, you are sooo thorough and attentive, thank you!!!