Learn Lingala

Lingala is an official language in both the Democratic Republic of the Congo the Republic of the Congo. It is based on the Bobangi language of central Africa but also borrows words extensively from French and English, Spanish and Portuguese. It is a Bantu language (some linguists think it is actually a Bantu creole), which means it has similarities to languages as far reaching as Swahili, Zulu and Chichewa. Whilst French is used as a lingua franca in the DRC, Lingala was historically the official language of the army during and to this day is the lingua franca of the DRC's armed forces.

Learn Lingala with uTalk
Planet Earth

Where Is It Spoken?

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Republic of the Congo

People Talking

Number Of Speakers

10,000,000

Family Tree

Language Family

Bantu

Arrow facing left to cycle backwards through text
Arrow facing left to cycle forward through text

Fun facts about Lingala

Lingala borrows heavily from French, as well as Portuguese, English and Spanish.

Lingala is strongly connected to popular culture and is the main language used in jazz lyrics across Central Africa.

Lingala had no writing system until the early 1900s, when missionaries started using the Latin script to write it. Today, Lingala is still more a spoken language than a written one, and there is no standardisation of spelling.

Over 30 million people have started speaking a new language with uTalk

Treasure

Over 2500 words and phrases, across 60+ topics covering everyday situations

Native Speakers

Practise speaking and compare your pronunciation with native speakers

Games

Game-based learning is fun and intuitive