eskandar wrote:Widespread in what way? Geographically, maybe?
That and number of speakers (native + L2) according to Wikipedia, at least, since it's a trade language.
I would think there would be more resources for Soninke or Bambara (the latter of which I've long wanted to learn, though probably never will).
I remember when I took French in middle school, our textbook actually had a few phrases in Dyula in it because it had a unit on Côte d'Ivoire and it's one of the main languages there. That's the only language I've ever seen being taught at all in a French textbook other than Flemish (in my brother's second-year textbook) and, of course, French. That gives me some hope with Dyula, I guess, although Bambara wouldn't be a bad alternative, either, since all the Manding languages are supposed to be mutually intelligible anyway.
For Niger-Congo languages, is Yoruba really more widespread than Swahili?
No, but I'm ignoring Swahili since I've been learning it anyway.
Hausa and Somali, which you've mentioned earlier, have long been temptations of mine as well (both of which I briefly flirted with in the past).
A lot of my relatives on my mom's side of the family used to live in Nigeria. One of my mom's first cousins lives in Houston now but used to be an English teacher in a village where everyone spoke only Hausa. When I was growing up, every time we visited him, he would suddenly start talking to me in Hausa as if he expected me to have learned it already. He tried to teach me the numbers in Hausa and went through "one," "two," and "three," then said, "'Four' I don't remember because I'd never pay more than three naira for a chicken."
However, he openly admitted that he refused to vote for Barack Obama just because he's black.