Dagaare is member of the Gur branch of Niger-Congo languages
spoken in Ghana and Burkina Faso by about 1.1 million people.
Some linguists classify Dagaare as part of a dialect continuum
that also includes Waale and Birifor.
Ethnologue classifies Dagaare as three separate langauges:
Southern Dagaare, which is spoken by about 700,000 people in Ghana in the Nortwest corner and in the west Upper West Region. It is also known as Dagaare, Dagara, Dagari, Dagati, Degati or Dogaari.
Northern Dagara, which is spoken mainly in Burkina Faso by about 388,000 people, in Southwest, Poni, Bougouriba, Sissili, and Mouhoun provinces. This language is also known as Dagaare, Dagaari, Dagari, Dagati, Degati or Dogaari.
Dagaari Dioula, which is spoken mainly in Burkina Faso by about 21,000 people in Diébougou, To, Boromo, Soukoulaye, Silly, Pa, Dano, Leo, Gao, Dissin, Wessa, Fara, French Hamele. It has significant influence from the unrelated Dioula language, and is also known as Dagaari Jula, Dagari Dyoula, Jari, Wala or Yari.
Dagaare alphabet (Burkina Faso)
Dagaare in Burkina Faso was first written by colonial administrators to record the names of people and places. French missionaries produced religious literature in the language, mainly during the 1950s and 60s, using a spelling based on French. Since then Dagaare spelling has been reformed and improved a number of times, with the current orthography being established in 1998.
There are three tones in the Dagaare of Burkina Faso: the high tone is indicated by an acute accent (á), the low tone with a grave accent (à), and the middle tone is not marked.
Dagaare alphabet (Ghana)
In Ghana the Dagaare Language Committee publish a Guide to Dagaare Spelling in 1976, and revised it in 1982.
Sample text in Dagaare
Nengsaala zaa ba nang dɔge so la o menga, ka o ne o taaba zaa sengtaa noba
emmo ane yɛlɛsoobo sobic poɔ. Ba dɔgɛɛ ba zaa ne
yɛng ane yɛlɛ-iruu k'a da seng ka ba erɛ yɛlɛ
korɔ taa a nga yɔɔmine.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards
one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)