January 2024 Round-Up

  • Manden donsolu kalikan (The Manden hunters’ sermon) — A Mali Pense blog post with an interpretation of the Manden hunter’s sermon from Maninka (originally transcribed by Galtier) into Bambara. Luckily, the post also links to Galtier’s original transcription in PDF format.

  • Burkina elevates status of “national languages” — Burkina Faso demoted French from its official language to a “working language” and made its “national languages” official. This likely refers to all the 60ish local languages in the country and not just Jula, Mooré, Fulfuldé which already had a unique status as the major “national languages”

  • Niger suspends cooperation with La Francophonie — In the official announcement, they also called for elevating the status of local African languages

  • Segu Janjo (“The Hymn/Rejoicing of Ségou”) — I was lucky enough to find a copy of this short Bambara-language film from 1989 by Mambaya Coulibaly. Using unique puppet animation, it tells one small part (the film is under 10 minutes) of the traditional Bambara Epic of Ségou. It won a prize at the famous FESPACO film festival in Burkina Faso in 1989. Includes French subtitles.

  • Ecritures Africaines — Episode of “Afrique, mémoires d’un continent” from Kpénahi Traoré of RFI.

  • The Maninka Malidaba dictionary got a sizeable update in terms of content

  • Tense-Aspect-Mood Markers for the Future in Maninka — A new academic article by Valentin Vydrin in the journal “Mandenkan” analyzing ways of marking the future in Guinean Maninka. Based on a study of a single written text as well as the Maninka Reference Corpus. [In French]

  • Reflexive Pronouns in Manding and Mokole — A dense academic article by Alexandra Vydrin (now deceased) about the etymology and use of the reflexive pronoun in Manding and Mokole.

  • Corpus of Early Accounts of the Sunjata Epic, 1889-1959 — “This book presents twenty less familiar texts of the Sunjata epic recorded during the colonial period which together comprise the complete extant corpus for the period 1889-1959. Many of them were published in French or German in colonial periodicals or monographs; all are rarely consulted.”

  • Moh! Kouyate: A Conversation with a Global Griot — A radio broadcast/podcast episode from “Afropop Worldwide” about Moh Kouyate, a Maninka-speaking jeli (griot) from Guinea.

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