Discovering the language

Malagasy has been taught at Inalco since 1898 (Alfred Durand). Today, it is the only university in France, Europe and the world (except Madagascar) to offer a complete course (bachelor's, master's, doctorate) in Malagasy language, literature and civilization.

Malagasy is the language of Madagascar and of a number of inhabitants of the island of Mayotte. There are many regional variants, but it is the Imerina (Tananarive region) that has been chosen as the official language, due to a long tradition of writing dating back to the first half of the 19th century.
Like Indonesian, Tagalog and Tahitian, Malagasy belongs to the Austronesian language family. It has borrowed from Sanskrit and Arabic, received significant lexical contributions from the Bantu family (Swahili, Makhwa, Comorian...) and, more recently, from European languages (English, French). Before being transcribed into Latin characters, Malagasy was first transcribed into Arabic characters, giving rise to a not inconsiderable body of written literature known as Arabo-Malagasy or Sorabic.

Malagasy literature has two strands: oral literature, one genre of which, the hain-teny, was published and translated by Jean Paulhan; written literature or "modern literature" (in Malagasy and French). Born at the beginning of the 20th century, it is represented by highly talented authors such as Ny Avana Ramanantoanina, Jean Joseph Rabearivelo, Jacques Rabemananjara...

Studies at Inalco are based on knowledge of official Malagasy, written literature and oral literature. From the first year onwards, Malagasy studies are combined with studies of the islands of the western Indian Ocean, in particular the Comoros.

Link to presentation

Training courses

Licence degree LLCER Malgache
Master's degree Mention LLCER AOI, Parcours Malgache
Diplomas in Malagasy Language: DL
Diplomas in Malagasy Language and Civilization: DLC

As of September 2020, Malagasy Language (DL) Level 1 and 2 diplomas are available entirely by distance learning.

Indicative bibliography

BEAUJARD, Philippe, 1998, Dictionnaire malgache (dialectal)-français: Dialect tañala, sud-est de Madagascar : avec recherches etymologiques, Paris: L'Harmattan, 894 pages.
RAJAONARIMANANA, Narivelo, 1995, Dictionnaire du malgache contemporain, Paris: Karthala, 394 pages.

Grammars, methods
OUVRARD, Louise, 2012, Méthode de malgache, Paris: L'Asiathèque, 351 pages.
RAJAONARIMANANA, Narivelo, 2001, Grammaire moderne de la langue malgache, Paris: L'Asiathèque, 126 pages.

DOMENICHINI-RAMIARAMANANA, Bakoly, Du ohabolana au hainteny. Langue, littérature et politique à Madagascar, Paris: Karthala, 665 pages.
OUVRARD, Louise, 2015, Les oiseaux dans la littérature malgache, Paris: Komedit, 278 pages.
PAULHAN, Jean, 1913 (reed. 2007), Hain-teny merina, Paris: Guethner

Anthropologie et histoire
BLANCHY, Sophie, RAKOTOARISOA, Jean-Aimé, BEAUJARD, Phillippe, RADIMILAHY, Chantal (dir.),
FANONY, Fulgence,
FLACOURT de, Étienne,
MUNTHE, Ludwig,
VERIN, Pierre, 1990, Madagascar, Paris : Karthala, 244 pages.