N'ko vs Manding

In a recent YouTube comment, a viewer asked the following question, which comes up often:

Is Mandingo and N’ko the same or what is N’KO?

As a reference for others, here’s my response:

In the strictest sense, N’ko is the name of a writing system that was designed to write Manding, but like any other script – such as the Latin alphabet or the Arabic abjad – it can potentially be used to pen any language.

In a broader sense, “N’ko” is also used by N’ko teachers/students to refer to Manding as a language. This is similar to the way that English speakers use the name “Arabic” to refer to both the writing system that is used for Arabic, Urud and Farsi, etc., as well as the language of the Quran.

If you are curious to learn more about this dynamic, you could consult this article of mine: