Abbreviations, Acronyms, Articles, and Loan Words


Common Abbreviations

You might need to abbreviate some words in the UI (mainly buttons or options names) due to lack of space. This can be done in the following ways:

It should be noted that Bambara does not frequently use abbreviations and acronyms and consequently there are very few abbreviations and no acronyms found in Bambara. Bambara adopts the French version of some abbreviations e.g. measurement.

The words in the glossary were translated so as to have the smallest possible designations.

Do not abbreviate such words as and, or, something, someone, or any other word that users might not recognize. If you have any doubt, spell out the word rather than using an abbreviation.

Measurements and Numerals

Metric System Commonly Used? Yes

Temperature: Celsius

Category English Translation Abbreviation
Linear Measure Kilometer Kilomɛtiri km
Meter Mɛtiri m
Decimeter Decimɛtiri dm
Centimeter Santimɛtiri cm
Millimeter Milimɛtiri mm
Capacity Hectoliter Ektomɛtiri hl
Liter Litiri l
Deciliter Desilitiri dl
Centiliter Santilitiri cl
Milliliter Mililitiri ml
Mass Ton Tɔni t
Kilogram Kilogaramu kg
Pound n/a n/a
Gram Gararamu g
Decigram Desigaramu dg
Centigram Santigraramu cg
Milligram Miligraramu mg
English Units of Measurement Inch n/a n/a
Feet n/a n/a
Mile n/a n/a
Gallon n/a n/a

Note: On units of measure, Bambara adopts the same style and rules as French. Percentages are like in French, e.g. 85 %.

Digit Groups

Country/region: Mali

Decimal Separator: 0,00

Decimal Separator Description: nkɔri

Decimal Separator Example: 5,6 ; 75,05

Thousand Separator: Space

Thousand Separator Description: Space

Thousand Separator Example: 1 543 672; 1 765 234 987

Notes: Bambara follows French in this regard.

Filename Extensions

Filename extensions and graphic formats referenced by filename extensions such as BMP, GIF, HTML, PNG and TIFF must not be translated.


The term acronym refers to words that are made up of the initial letters of the major parts of a compound term if they are pronounced as a new word. Some well-known examples of acronyms are WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), OLE (Object Linking and Embedding), or RAM (Random Access Memory). .

Localized Acronyms

When acronyms are localized, which does not happen often, they take the gender of the first substantive. Example:

  • PAO
  • CAO
  • SGBD

Unlocalized Acronyms

If an acronym must remain in English throughout a manual or other text, the first time it occurs, write its full name in Bambara in normal style followed in parentheses by the acronym and its full spelling in English in italics.


kunnafoniw ka yɛrɛman yɛlɛman ka taa mansin wɛrɛw kɔnɔ (DDE, Dynamic Data Exchange)


Product Names

As a general rule, all product names are used without definite or indefinite articles. They are treated as proper names.

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