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Madagascar > Tourist information > Language


In spite of a few dialectal variants, Madagascar has one national language, Malagasy. French and (since 2007) English are also official languages of Madagascar.


The acts of governments are published both in Malagasy and French. Many Malagasy speak French. Local newspapers in French are found in most important towns. English speakers, though, are more and more found in the tourism industry.

Malagasy belongs to the Austro-Polynesian languages. It is of Indonesian origin since it is closely related to the Manjaan language spoken in Borneo. It has borrowings from Bantu languages. 


Malagasy serves an unifying function for the different ethnic groups of the country. 


Common phrases in Malagasy 

Welcome : Tonga Soa 

Hello : Manao ahoana 

Good evening : Ahoana 

How are you ? : Fahasalamàna ? 

Goodbye : Veloma 

Thank you very much : Misaotra betsaka 

Yes Sir/ Madam : Eny tompoko

Good night : Tafandria mandry 

How much is it ? : Ohatrinona ? 

What time is it please ? : amin’ny firy izao azafady ?

One : isa/iray 

Two : roa 

Three : telo 

Four : efatra 

Five : dimy 

Six : enina 

Seven : fito 

Eight : valo 

Nine : sivy 

Ten : folo 

One hundred : zato 

One thousand : arivo 

One million : iray tapitrisa



spoken languages in madagascar

Links in other languages


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