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Tuareg (Tamasheq, Tamajaq, Tamahaq)

Tuareg is a Berber language or a number of closely-related languages spoken in parts of Mali, Niger, Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso by the Tuareg people, and by some Kinnin people in Chad. The total number of speakers is about 1.2 million.

Tuareg is traditionally written with the Tifinagh alphabet, which is now mainly used to write magical formulae, writing on palms when silence is required, and for letter-writing. The Arabic alphabet is also used in some areas, and has been since the Middle Ages, and different versions of the Latin alphabet are used in Mali and Niger.

Tuareg alphabets and pronunciation

Tamasheq alphabet

This is the official alphabet for Tamasheq in Mali. It was adopted in 1967 and modified in 1982.

Tamasheq alphabet as used in Mali

Tamajaq alphabet

This is the official alphabet for Tamajaq in Niger and it was adopted in 1999.

Tamajaq alphabet as used in Niger

Sample text in Tamasheq

Mdan ddunt tiwen llullin, ulan s lhəq. Ǧrawən tayətte d man full ed nmərtayən s taññət.

Tamasheq sample text in the Neo-Tifinagh alphabet

Sample text in Tamasheq in the Neo-Tifinagh alphabet


Tower of Babel in Tamasheq


Information about Tuareg languages and people

Berber languages

Ancient Berber, Guanche, Kabyle, Tamazight, Tuareg

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet