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Pioneer Bible Translators (PBT) administered a sentence repetition test (SRT) in the prefectures of Kankan, Beyla, Faranah, Kissidougou, Mamou, Kérouané, Dabola, Kouroussa, Dinguiraye, and Siguiri to answer two questions: (1) How proficient are the Konyanka, Sankaran, Wassalunka, and Kuranko in Maninka? (2) Is the Maninka region of Guinea linguistically homogeneous enough to use the same translation?
The SRT was prepared in Kankan during the month of August 1998. It was prepared and calibrated using the Reported Proficiency Evaluation (RPE). It was then taken into much of Upper Guinea to test the degree of bilingual proficiency among the Konyanka, Sankaran, Wassalunka, and Kuranko in Maninka of Kankan. It was also taken to some of the major centers of the Maninka territory to test if the Maninka across Upper Guinea are proficient enough in the Kankan dialect to use the materials developed by the Society for International Ministries (SIM) in their language program centered in Kankan.
Assuming an adequate literacy program in Maninka throughout Upper Guinea, it was found that the Maninka between Dabola, Dinguiraye, Matagania, Kouroussa, Naboun, Kankan, and Kérouané should be able to use the materials developed in Kankan. The Konyanka, Sankaran, and the people of Ouré-Kaba did not demonstrate a high enough level of proficiency in the Maninka of Kankan to use these materials. The results from Siguiri and Mandiana prefectures proved to be marginal. That is, it depends on at what level of proficiency one places the cut off as to whether or not they would need their own language development program. If one argues, as Barbara Grimes does, that the group should rank at an RPE level 4, then they would need their own program. If one allows a group to be a little less proficient than a native speaker then, the people of Siguiri and Mandiana can probably use the Kankan materials. In this survey it was decided that a RPE level of 4 would demonstrate they could use the Kankan materials while an RPE level of 3 or less would reveal that a another language program would need to be considered for them. The results in Siguiri and Mandiana were RPE levels of 3+. They will probably be able to use the Kankan materials, but there may be some difficulties.