Malagasy Readings

  1. Bell, J., & Winterton, M. (2013). Malagasy–English phrasebook & dictionary =: Rakibolana Malagasy–Anglisy : English–Malagasy & Malagasy English, with over 16,000 entries and regional dialects. [Antananarivo]: Trano Printy Fiangonana Loterana Malagasy. Despite the name, this is more of a dictionary than a phrasebook (the latter is a short section at the back). While one of the best and most recent English-Malagasy dictionaries, there are many definitions that run contrary to their usage in Standard Malagasy; words from regional dialects are not clearly identified, which may cause confusion in the Tana region.This book can be difficult to order; if not available, see de La Beaujardière (2022).
  2. Rajemisa-Raolison, R. (1971). Grammaire Malgache. Fianarantsoa. For French speakers, this is the best textbook available for learning Malagasy grammar and understanding the various rules. The section on adverbs is especially valuable.

    Although technically out of print, a lively used book pirating trade exists for this volume, with photocopied editions perfectbound and made available for sale in Analakely Market and other locales. While designed more as a technical reference, it is an invaluable aid for French speakers.

  3. Cousins, G. (1960). Gramera malagasy. Tananarive: Librairie Protestante Imarivolanitra.This grammar guide is not of direct use to Malagasy learners, being written in the Malagasy language. However, it does have some helpful explanations for Malagasy teachers.
  4. Rakotovao, A. (1976). Vocabulaire français-malagasy : mots juridiques et techniques avec des exemples = Rakibolana Frantsay-Malagasy : teny fampiasa amin’ny fitsarana misy ohatra. [Antananarivo]: Université de Madagascar, Établissement d’enseignement supérieur de droit, d’économie, de gestion, et de sociologie, Filière magistrature.For French-language speakers engaged in contracts law in Malagasy, this pseudo-dictionary provides a useful guide to relevant terminology to use in a justice system that mixes both languages.
  5. (n.d.). Malagasy phrases. While limited in scope, this website serves as an online phrasebook, including some audio samples of common phrases to assist with learning pronunciation.
  6. de La Beaujardière, J-M. (2022). Malagasy dictionary and encyclopedia of Madagascar this looks somewhat antiquated, this online resource includes a search tool drawing on multiple Malagasy dictionaries and sample quotations. Includes dialect-sorted word lists, grammatical breakdowns, bibliographies, and more.
  7. Razafindrabe, M., Ralahatra, X., & Ravaorimalala, E. (2001). Course de Malgache pour les etrangers. Malagasy course for foreigners. Analmahitsy: Editions Ambozontany. This three-volume series serves as a set of self-guided lessons for learning Malagasy. It does provide a base of practice dialogues, vocabulary lists, and other tools. However, the instructions are variously written in Malagasy, English, and French, meaning that this book set can be extremely confusing and sometimes frustrating to use for the beginning student, and somewhat more useful after an intermediate fluency has already been acquired.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.