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Sango is a lingua franca related to Ngbandi of Adamawa Eastern. (Webbook) which has been more acurrately renamed "Adamwa Ubangian" (LLacan). The Ngbandi language cluster including Sango partains to the Ubangian branch of Adamawa-Ubangian.
Ethnologue lists the classification as: Creole, Ngbandi based. It should be noted that this classification is very controversial.
Also in the Dem. Rep. of the Congo (DRC) and in the neighbouring countries along the CAR boundaries.
According to Ethnologue:
For a better understanding of the figures given by Etnologue, you must know that there are two (2) Sango tongues in the Central African Republic: one is a vernacular Ngbandi dialect which is spoken along the Ubangi riversides by native speakers called "riverside Sango people"; and the other is the lingua franca, also related to Ngbandi language group which is spoken throughout the Central African Republic as first language by younger generations (350.000 people according to the census of 1988) and second language by the rest of the population (3.150.000 in 1988). The figure of 1.600.000 secong-language speakers is very surprising and highly questionnable. Definitely, many data given by Ethnologue should not be taken for granted! (Marcel Diki-Kidiri)
Wikipedia gives a figure of 5 million second-language speakers.
Samarin considers the relationship between Sango and Ngbandi to be analogous to that of African Pidgin English, while Thomas (1981) is content to say that Sango and Ngbandi are similar enough to be considered dialects. (Webbook)
The suggestion that Sango is a pidgin is controversial and apparently not accepted by recent scholarship.
However Ethnologue describes it in these ways:
Sango is a national language of the Central African Republic and has great importance as a commercial language on the Ubangi River throughout this area. Sango is frequently broadcast on radio and television by Radio-Television Centrafricaine. (Webbook)
National language in CAR. ... More men than women speak it as second language. All domains. Spoken and written for informal use, used for instruction in community schools, in public schools when students do not understand French, church and mission publications. (Ethnologue)
Used as a trade language in parts of Chad and DRC.
Since January 28, 1984, the government of the Central African Republic has codified by law the official orthography of Sango based on research by l'Institut National d'Éducation de Formation and l'Institut de Linguistique Appliquée, University of Bangui, Ministry of Education and Educational Reform (Diki-Kidiri, personal communication, 1985). Current orthographic work by these institutions involves elaborating an orthographic dictionary and developing materials using the new official orthography. (Webbook)
Legislation in CAR: "[D]écret no 85-004 portant rectificatif au Code de l'orthographe officielle du sango; décret no 84-025 fixant l'orthographe officielle du sango (langue nationale centrafricaine); ordonnance impériale no 77/011 fixant l'alphabet phonétique utilisable dans la transcription de la langue nationale sango; décret no 65-002 portant institution d'une Commission nationale pour l'étude de la langue sango; loi n°91/003 du 8 mars 1991." (Aménagement linguistique)
A new orothography has been proposed (2005) according to Sango.free.fr http://sango.free.fr/mission_ROS_2005.htm
Alphabet as reported by Hartell (1993) and presented in Systèmes alphabétiques: http://sumale.vjf.cnrs.fr/phono/AfficheTableauOrtho2N.php?choixLangue=sango
See also the Omniglot page http://www.omniglot.com/writing/sango.php
A sample text is shown on the "Language Museum" site, though it is possible that this is now out of date: http://www.language-museum.com/s/sango.htm
Most standard Latin fonts have the necessary characters.
Yângâ tî Sängö tî Bêafrîka http://sango.free.fr
Sahngo tî lâsô http://sango.ti.laso.free.fr/
Yângâ tî Sahngo tî Bêafrîka
An article by M. Diki-Kidiri, C. Mbodj, and A.B. Edema on computer terminology in Sängö, Wolof, and Lingala is available (en français) at http://www.erudit.org/revue/meta/1997/v42/n1/003313ar.pdf
Need details on changing/changed(?) orthography
Leclerc, Jacques. L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, "République centrafricaine," http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/afrique/centrafrique.htm
LLACAN, "Langage, Langues et Cultures d'Afrique noire, CNRS, France" http://llacan.vjf.cnrs.fr
Omniglot, "Sango (Yângâ tî Sängö)," http://www.omniglot.com/writing/sango.php
SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Sango," http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=sag
SIL International, "ISO 639 Code Tables," http://www.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp
U.S. Library of Congress, "ISO 639.2: Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages: Alpha-3 codes arranged alphabetically by the English name of language," http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/English_list.php
Wikipedia, "Sango," http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sango
______, "Sango language," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sango_language