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Learn About Sango: the Language of Central African Republic

written by: R. H. • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 3/2/2012

Sango, the official language of Central African Republic, draws its vocabulary from French and African languages. Read this article to learn more, and download a printable sheet of Sango vocabulary words!

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    Sango and its Speakers

    Central African Republic Map Sango (sometimes also called "Sangho") is a creole based on the Ngbandi language of northern Democratic Republic of Congo. It is spoken not only in the Central African Republic, but also by some people in Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The most recent count of native speakers of Sango was 404,000 speakers total -- 350,000 of these speakers in the Central African Republic. However, Sango is widely used as a trade language between people who speak other minority languages; thus, it has somewhere around 1,600,000 speakers who speak it as a second language.

    The majority of the words used in Sango during normal daily conversations are based on African language roots, but if the whole lexicon of Sango is considered, it has about 51% lexical similarity with French and 49% lexical similarity with African languages.

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    Important Words and Phrases in Sango

    (Find a Sango vocabulary list to print and download here)

    Polite Words and Expressions

    Mbi gbu gere ti mo - Please

    Singila mingi - Thank you very much

    Sengue - You're welcome

    Pardon - Sorry! / Excuse me!


    Balao - Good day / Good evening / Hello

    Nzoni gango - Welcome

    Tonga na nyen - How are you?

    Ye ake ape - Very good / not bad

    Nzoni - Very good / not bad

    Nzoni ape - Bad

    Mbi duti nzoni - I am fine

    Mo lango nzoni? - Have you slept well?

    Hein, mbi lango nzoni. - Yes, I have slept well.

    Wali a yeke da? Amolengue a yeke da? - How is your wife? How are your children?

    Hein, ala yeke da. - Yes, they are all doing fine.

    Iri ti mo nyen? - What's your name?

    Iri ti mbi a yeke Jean. - My name is Jean.

    Balao madame - Hello ma'm

    Balao monsieur - Hello sir

    Ala londo na ndo wa? - Where are you from?

    Mbi londo na Suède. - I am from Sweden.

    Ala lango na ndo wa? - Where do you live?

    Mbi lango na Bangui. - I live in Bangui.

    Expressions of Leavetaking

    Nzoni lakwi - Good night

    Mbi zia mo - Goodbye

    Gue nzoni - Goodbye

    Na peko - See you later

    Na peko ma - See you soon

    Na kekereke - See you tomorrow

    Other Helpful Words and Phrases

    E gue - Let's go!

    Hein - Yes

    Hein hein - no


    Para - Zero

    Oko - One

    Osse - Two

    Ota - Three

    Osio - Four

    Okou - Five

    Omene - Six

    Mbasambala - Seven

    Myombe - Eight

    Gumbaya - Nine

    Baleoko - Ten

    Baleoko na oko - Eleven

    Baleoko na osse - Twelve

    Baleoko na ota - Thirteen

    Baleoko na osio - Fourteen

    Baleoko na okou - Fifteen

    Baleoko na omene - Sixteen

    Baleoko na mbasambala - Seventeen

    Baleoko na myombe - Eighteen

    Baleoko na gumbaya - Nineteen

    Bale osse - Twenty

    Bale osse na oko - Twenty-one

    Bale osse na osse - Twenty-two

    Bale osse na ota - Twenty-three

    Bale ota - Thirty

    Bale ota na oko - Thirty-one

    Bale ota na osse - Thirty-two

    Bale osio - Forty

    Bale okou - Fifty

    Bale omene - Sixty

    Bale mbasambala - Seventy

    Bale mbasambala na oko - Seventy-one

    Bale mbasambala na osse - Seventy-two

    Bale myombe - Eighty

    Bale myombe na oko - Eighty-one

    Bale myombe na osse - Eighty-two

    Bale gumbaya - Ninety

    Bale gumbaya na oko - Ninety-one

    Bale gumbaya na osse - Ninety-two

    Ngbangbo - One Hundred