Mandingo is one of the largest common languages in West Africa, as it is spoken by more than 30 million people. A comparison with English fully illustrates its role as a regional reference language. The majority of the Malian population is fluent in Bambara (compared here to standard English). 40% of the population of Burkina Faso is fluent in Dyula, which also corresponds to standard English. Not less than 60% of the population of Côte d’Ivoire speaks, as a second language “Ivorian Dyula” (compared to American English). Nearly half of the population of Guinea and 15 % of Liberia and Sierra Leone speak Maninka, which could be compared to Caribbean English. About half of the Gambian population and one-fifth of the population of Guinea Bissau speak Mandinka, which could be compared to Nigerian English. One-fifth of the population of Senegal is also fluent in Mandingo dialects, which include varieties of Bambara (in Tambacounda region) and most of the varieties of Mandingo of the West (especially Mandinka and Malinke of the West).