Learn to speak Bambara


I ni se! Welcome! Are you looking to learn or improve your Bambara because you realize that French or English can’t connect you with people in West Africa? An ka taa! Let’s go!




I’m Coleman Donaldson and I’m a teacher of Bambara with a PhD in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. I’ve been speaking, teaching and exploring Bambara and related varieties such as Dioula and Malinké since 2009 when I was in the Peace Corps.



I help you learn via...


Are you looking for private lessons tailored to your needs as a complete beginner, a rusty Peace Corps volunteer, or as heritage learner from the West African diaspora?

Tutor Programs

Are you beyond the basics, but looking for a way to keep practicing and speaking on your own but with some guidance instead of boring flashcards and apps that don’t work? How about a distance tutor program via WhatsApp/Telegram and a GoogleDoc?


I produce videos both for beginners and more advanced students looking for authentic materials from the streets of West Africa.


Here’s what my students say...

I spent two years in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso from 2010-2012 and loved learning to speak Jula, but never understood the grammar behind most of the phrases I would use. Coleman helped me have a much deeper understanding of the language and helped me improve my pronunciation.
— Brianna London
[Lessons with Coleman] made all the difference; from conversing with taxi drivers to ordering rice and peanut sauce at a road-side restaurant to greeting my colleagues in the office, Bambara opened doors that never would have opened with just speaking French.
— Colin Gilmartin