Manding (Bambara, Dyula, & Malinké)
Marshall suggests that one of the best ways to pursue self-directed language learning is with the help of a language mentor. These native or near-native speakers of your target language can be invaluable resources along the journey to fluency. When seeking a Manding-speaking language mentor, keep in mind the particular Manding variety your potential mentor speaks. If your mentor is Malian, they will probably speak Bambara. Mentors from Burkina Faso or Côte d’Ivoire typically speak Jula, and those from Guinea speak Maninka/Malinké.
Ways to find a language mentor
Finding a language mentor can be tricky, but with technology, there are ways to start meeting Manding-speaking communities.
Ideally, going to West Africa and immersing yourself in Manding language and culture will supercharge your language ability. However, this isn’t always possible. Connecting with the West African diaspora may help you to find potential mentors and conversation partners. You may want to check cultural associations, community centers, local universities/colleges, churches, or even websites designed to meet new people with common interests:
In the Internet age, you can find conversation partners and potential long-term mentors through online sites and apps. Here are a few places you can find speakers of Manding:
You may also want to check other non-language-specific social media, such as Facebook groups, Reddit feeds, Discord channels, etc.
Marshall, Terry. The Whole World Guide to Language Learning. Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, 1989.