Malidaba Dictionary
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Malidaba Dictionary

Dictionary structure and User's guide

Content - Searching - Other options - Abbreviations


The content

The January 2024 version includes 7283 Maninka lexemes (8,799 entries, including 1,461 phonetic variants with links to the main entries). In comparison with the 2018 version, about 600 entries have been added. Proper nouns (personal names, clan names, toponyms) are not included in the current version (this fact explains the decreasing of the total number of entries in Malidaba; in the 1st version, there were 9.796 entries). At the same time, many duplicates have been eliminated.

Variants : Each secondary variant (their number is 1.461; in the October 2018, they were 1.391) appears as a separate entry, with a link to the main entry.

Some other informations concerning the content of Malidaba:
proper names
(surnames, first names, places)
interjections, onomatopoeia106

Indexes (links in the right, at the top)

There is an English-Maninka index which counts 9,900 entries. A French-Maninka index includes 10,490 entries, and a Russian-Maninka index 10,542 entries. The Nko index has 8,106 entries.

Content: The December 2023 version includes 7283 Maninka lexemes (8,827 entries, including 1,482 phonetic variants with links to the main entries). In comparison with the 2018 version, about 600 entries have been added, at the same time, many doubles have been eliminated. The proper nouns (personal names, clan names, toponyms) are not included in the current version.

Synonyms: synonyms are indicated for 5,092 entries; for some entries, more than one synonym can be mentioned.

Multimedia: 76 entries have illustrations. Please, don’t hesitate to send us pictures, audio or files recorded in Guinea to illustrate the phenomena.

Search: "ɲinin" button accepts only maninka latin, it provides two search options:

  • If you do a search without tonal marks, you type ban, and you’ll arrive to the first in the list, i.e. bàn with a low tone. And bán will be found below.
  • If tones are included, the search is more precise. (e.g., bán and bàn are not the same).
  • If a searched word is not found, you land at the beginning of the list of words which have the same initial letter as the word you are searching.

    English, French, Russian and Nko indexes allow a search in the chose language and its alphabet.

    It is also possible to use the alphabetical index A-Z.

    Navigation : The links at the upper right side of the screen allow:

  • Fr : to go to the French-Maninka index
  • En : to go to the English-Maninka index
  • Ru : to go to the Russian-Maninka index
  • Nko : to go to the Nko index
  • A-Z : displays the index of the letters which allows to go to the letter you need.
  • Other options

    To hide or to show a language: glosses and translations can be hidden or shown by clicking on abbreviations Fr En Ru to the right of the search window. Exception : The primary gloss is in French and cannot be hidden.

    Link to the Maninka Reference Corpus: many entries have a grey number preceded by an arrow. By clicking this number, one can obtain a concordance of the occurrences of the lexeme in the Maninka (Nko) corpus. Note that this number should not be taken at face value. The Maninka (Nko) Corpus has not been disambiguated, and if a lexeme has homonyms, all the homonyms are lumped together (e.g., three homonyms bìla). This problem is absent if a lexeme has no homonyms (e.g., mɔ̀ɔ).

    Smartphones : Malidaba dictionary can be used on smartphones.

    Smartphone display example...

    Keyboard: If you have no keyboard to type Maninka special charaters (ɛ, ɔ, ɲ) on your computer or smartphone, you can click the buttons on the screen, to the left of the search window. If you have a Bambara keyboard, it is compatible. For Nko, you can download a keyboard here: For Russian, a Russian keyboard is necessary.

    Off-line version: Malidaba can be downloaded and installed on computer or smartphone: (3,4 Mo). You should unzip the file and open it with your navigator. In this case, the multimedia illustrative files are not available (to see them, one needs to be connected to the Internet).

    If you are familiar with the Toolbox Toolbox (SIL)software, you can use the following file: (1.4Mo)

    Bugs: If you encounter bugs or omissions, please, drop us an email here


    Parts of speech markers :

    adj adjective
    adv adverb
    adv.p preverbial adverb
    conj conjunction
    cop copula
    dtm determinant
    intj interjection
    n noun
    num number
    onomat onomatopea
    pers personal pronoun
    pm predicative marker
    pp postposition
    prep preposition
    prn pronoun (non-personal)
    prt particle
    ptcp participle
    v (dynamic) verb
    vq qualitative verb

    Valencies markers :
    vi intransitive verbs
    vt transitive verbs
    vr reflexive verbs
    rn relational nouns
    bn bound nouns

    Usage marks :
    affect. affectionate term
    agricult. agriculture
    Am. American variant of English
    anat. anatomy
    anthr. anthropology
    arch. archaic
    astr. astronomy
    biol. biology
    Br. British variant of English
    broad broad meaning
    card card term
    chem. chemistry
    christ. Christianism
    coll. colloquial
    dir. direct meaning
    disappr. disapproving
    epith. epithet
    euph. euphemism
    expr. expressive, emotional
    fig. figurative meaning
    fig.sp. figure of speech
    fin. finances
    form. formal speech
    freq. frequently used form
    geogr. geography
    geol. geology
    griot. term used by casted bards (griots)
    hist. historic term, a word for an obsolete object of phenomenon
    hunt. hunters’ word
    iron. ironic
    isl. Islam
    law law
    ling. linguistics
    lofty lofty
    math. mathematics
    med. medicine
    milit. military
    mus. musicology
    neol. neologism
    neol.-Nko neologism used in the Nko litterature
    neutr. neutral style
    nurs. nursery word
    obsc. obscene
    obsol. obsolete
    occas. occasional meaning
    pej. pejorative term
    philos. philosophy
    phys. physics
    poet. poetic style
    polit. politics, politology
    rare rare
    relig. religion
    resp. respectful
    rude rude
    rural not used in urban speech
    secr. word of a secret language
    slang slang
    sport. sport
    tech. technisc
    text. textile
    vulg. vulgar
    zool. zoology

    Documentation for the Maninka Reference Corpus is available here:

  • Glosses (inflection, derivation, auxiliary words)
  • Tonal notation
  • List of primary sources :

    Camara Sheick 1982 Camara, Sheick Abdoulkader. Terminologie de commerce en Maninka (Kankan). Mémoire de diplôme. Kankan : Institut Polytechnique, Mémoire, 1982.
    Davydov 2012 Davydov, Artem. Stanovleniye literaturnogo yazyka maninka (po trudam Suleymana Kante) [Emergence of the Maninka written norm (throuth the writings of Suleyman Kante)]. PhD Thesis, St. Petersburg State University, 2012.
    Kuruma Famori Kuruma, Famori. Amara ni Fanta/Alamako [Amara and Fanta] (an unpublished novel).
    An nye karan Maninka. An nye karan... An nye sèbèli kè. Manuel d'Alphabétisation. Conakry : Commission Nationale d'Alphabétisation et d'Education des Adultes de la République de Guinée, 1968, 50 p.
    Berhaut 1967 J. Berhaut. Flore du Sénégal. Dakar : Editions Clairafrique, 1967.
    Burkill H. M. Burkill. The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens, Vol. 1, 1985; Vol. 2, 1994.
    Camara Mamadou 1995 Mamadou Camara. Étude de quelques marqueurs aspecto-temporels du Maninkakan et du Français. Mémoire de D.E.A., Université Stendhal – Grenoble III, 1995.
    Grégoire 1986 Claire Grégoire. Le maninka de Kankan. Eléments de description phonologique. Tervuren, 1986.
    Dalziel 1937 Dalziel J. M. The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa. London, 1937.
    Keyita Fajinba information obtained from Fajinba Keyita, researcher at IRLA
    Kante. Fudu sariya Sùlemaaná Kántɛ. Fúdu` sáriya` kíti` lù n’à bélena. [Legislation and sermon about marriage.] Egypte: Kùrukanfúwa Gbàrá` lá Sádala, 1995, 24 p.
    Ibrahima Condé information obtained from Ibrahima Sory 2 Condé (native of Baté region, Guinea)
    Bari Umaru 1999 Úmaru Bári. Súluku` lá ìmaamunyá` wála Játurù [Hyena the Imam]. Kɔ́naakiri, 1999.
    Kante. Jibiriba Sùleman Kántɛ. Jìbiribá fàsá`. Kɔ́nakiri, (1980) [The story of Jibiriba. Conakry, (1980)], 62 p.
    Kaba. Moso mere Dyamanati Kaba. Môso, mêre i den dî? â mînâ n'nye n'kô! Premier syllabaire Kangbè (Maninka, Bamanan, Dioula). Avec quatre sons symphoniques. Kankan – Conakry.
    Jaane. Kafa 1 Bàbá Màmádi Jàanɛ́. Ńkó` sɛ́bɛsun jìyamá` wála Ńkó. Kàfa 1. [Nko primer with pictures. Book 1.] Conakry: Librairie papeterie ICRA-N'Ko, 1993, 43 p.
    Jaane. Kafa 2 Bàbá Màmádi Jàanɛ́. Kàrangbɛ́` ní kúmaden` kán` fɔ́li` n’à mɛ́n` báju ɲánatɔ̀mɔnnɛ́n nè [Grammar, prononciation and perception: the basics. 2nd book of the course of Nko in the Cairo University]. Kairo, 2002, 70 p.
    Jaane. Kafa 3 Bàbá Màmádi Jàanɛ́. Ńkó sɛ́bɛsun jìyamá Kɔ̀nɔ́` sánsan` kɔ́nɔ, kàrangbɛ́` làkarannián báju ɲánatɔ̀mɔnnɛ́n` nè [Nko illustrated ABC “Bird in a cage”, selected basic texts. 3rd book of the course of Nko in the Cairo University]. Kairo, 2002, 70 p.
    Kante. Kangbe 1 Sùlemáana Kántɛ. Ńkó` kángbɛ` kùnfɔ́lɔ. [Basic grammar of Nko] Kàrífɔn 1996, 37 p.
    Kante. Kangbe 2 Kántɛ, Sùlemáana. Nkó kángbɛ kàfa fìlanán [Nko grammar, book 2]. Bámakɔ, 1993.
    Kante. Kangbe kunbaba Kántɛ, Sùlemáana. Nkó kángbɛ kùnbabá. [Big grammar of Nko] Kánkan, 1998.
    Maninka-English (Paul Ellenberger et al.) Maninka-English Dictionary. Kankan: The Christian Missionary Alliance, n.d. (a Guinean Maninka influenced by Konya).
    Labzina 1973 Labzina, Victoria. Yazyk maninka: teksty, slovar’ [Maninka language: texts and dictionary.] Moscow: Nauka, 1973, 104 p.
    Jaane 1987 Màmádi Jàanɛ́ Nàfajiká. Nkó kàfa fɔ́lɔ. [First Nko book]. 1987.
    Kante. Kafanen 1 Kántɛ Sùlemáana. Nkó kàfanɛn fɔ́lɔ sáurama [First Nko book with pictures].
    Kante. Kafanen 2 Kántɛ Sùlemáana. Nkó kàfanɛn fílanan [Second Nko book with pistures].
    Luneti fin Famori Kuruma. Luneti fin [Black sunglasses] (an unpublished novel).
    Lexique IRLA Lexique Maninka–Francais. Conakry, I.R.L.A. (manuscript).
    Vydrin Valentin Vydrin’s field notes and correspondence
    Camara Mamadu 1977 Mamadou Camara. Les problèmes de la lexicographie dans nos langues nationales. Application : Langue nationale maninka. Mémoire de diplôme de fin d’études supérieures. Institut Polytechnique de Conakry, 1976/77, 88 p.
    Diallo Mbaba M'Baba Diallo. Origine des Peuls. Les conquêtes d'El Hadj Omar. Fila-Kali Sidibé, dernier chef de guerre peul du Wassolon. La Dina au Macina, Hambodejo, Sekou Amadou et Boubou ardo Gallo. (n.d., n.l.).
    Kante. Manden dofo 1 Sùlemáana Kántɛ. Màndén dɔ̀fɔ́` kùnfɔ́lɔ` mɛ́n` kɛ́ dá Sònjada kó` ɲɛ́. [Manding History, part 1: What happened before Sonjada]. Egypt, 1991. 119 p.
    Kante. Manden dofo 2 Sùlemáana Kántɛ. Màndén dɔ̀fɔ́ kàfa 2. [Manding History. Part 2.] Conakry, 1990, ms., 43 p.
    Kante. Manden dofo 3 Sùlemáana Kántɛ. Màndén dɔ̀fɔ́ kàfa 3: Kùrukanfúwa-Gbàrá kùrundú lù. [Manding History. Part 3: Laws of the Kurukanfuwa Assembly]. Egypt, 1992, 83 p.
    Kante. Manden dofo 4 Sùlemáana Kántɛ. Màndén dɔ̀fɔ́ kàfa 4. Mɛ́n` kɛ́ dá Sònjáda tàminnɛ́n` kɔ́ [History of Manding. Part 4: What happened after Sunjata]. Egypt, 1991.
    Diane Mamadi 1) Diané, Mamadi. Leksicheskaya kategorizatsiya v mladopis’mennom yazyke maninka (eksperimental’no-tipologicheskoye issledovaniye) [Lexical categorization in a newly-written Maninka language (an experimental typological study).] Moscow: Institute of linguistics RAS, 1990. 2) information received from Mamadi Diané (chercheur à IRLA, puis directeur de l’IRLA)
    Kanjamadi Bàbá Màmádi Jàanɛ́. Nkó kɔ́dɔfɔlan kànjamáadi: Ńkó–Árabu [Nko-Arabic Dictionary.] Egypt, 2005, 138 p.
    Kante. Kodoyidalan Kántɛ Sùlemáana. Nkó kɔ́dɔ-yidalan wála fàsarilán háman kɔ́dɔfɔlan Màndén fòdobakan yíriwanɛn dɔ́, àní Fàdafinna Télebe jàwo kán n'à kán sádamaba dɔ́ [Nko dictionary]. Kankan, 1962. Ed. by Bàba Jàane, Egypt, 1992
    Kaba. Namori Kàba, Béntu Bákari. Námɔ̀ri ní Káninba yàrabí` kànfɔ́: ń dí mɔ̀ɔ mà ń ní mɛ́n` ká dí án`ɲɔ́ɔn ɲɛ́. [Novel of the love of Namory and Kanimba: “Give me to the man whom I love”.] Egypt, Cairo, 2002.
    Nzerekore information from activists of ICRA-NKO in Nzérékoré: Amara Kante, Mohamed Seyiba Traore, Mamadi Jakite, Mori Kamara
    Kurana Kùrana kálanke dálámìdanɛ́n Mànden fòdoba kán dɔ́, nálìmun Nkó dí, Kántɛ Sùlemáana bólo [The Holy Koran, translated into the common language of the Manding, i.e. Nko, translated by Suleyman Kante].
    Spears 1965 R.A. Spears. The Structure of Faranah-Maninka. Bloomington: Indiana Univ., 1965 (a dictionary of Faranah-Maninka).
    Spears 1973 Spears, Richard A. Elementary Maninka-kan. Northwestern University, 1973, 249 p.
    Kante Safian information from Safian Kantɛ (Solomana Kantɛ’s son)
    Kante. Sodon Sùleman Kántɛ. Sɔ̀dɔ́n bɛ̀dɛbɛdɛlí`. [Political Economy]. Kɔ́nakiri, 1993, 36 p.
    Sinjiya Foobe Sínjiya Fɔ̀ɔbɛ́` [“Fraternity News”, a Nko monthly published in Kucala, Mali]
    Jaane Sanusi information received from Sànusí Jàanɛ Fìnmán, native of Nafaji, Bate arr. near Kankan (Guinea).
    Somooya sila Sómɔɔya` síla` [“Road of civilization”, a Nko monthly.]
    Traore Numan information received from Nouman Traoré (dit Sinbon), native of Kurusa.
    Sori ni Mariama Sori ni Mariama. Sécretariat d'état à l'idéologie, téléenseignement et alphabétisation, Service Nationale d'Alphabétisation.
    Kante. Soso Kántɛ Sùlemáana. Sòsó Fàamalá` dɔ̀fɔ́ bátɔmɔn. [A short history of the Soso Empire]. 1993.
    Traore 1977 Kadiatou Traoré. Dictionnaire fondamental du vocabulaire technique des corps de métiers traditionnels en Haute Guinée. Mémoire de diplôme. Institut polytechnique de Kankan, 1977, 94 p.
    Kate. Waadu Kántɛ Sùlemáana. Wàaduu wála Gàná kɔ̀dɔmán dɔ̀fɔ́` bátɔmɔn. [A brief history of Waaduu, or Ancient Ghana] Conakry, 1993, 27 p..
    Kante. Wedewedeya kanfo Bnù Tùfáyilì (Kántɛ Sùlemáana lá dálamidali). Wèdewedeyá kànfɔ́ - Roman philosophique. (translated by Sulemana Kante) Egypt, 1988.