Belbali in Algeria

Joshua Project has identified the Belbali only in Algeria






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Korandje is spoken by about 3000 people called Belbalis from the villages of Kwara, Ifrenyu and Yami in the oasis of Tabelbala in southwestern Algeria. Significant numbers are also in the town of Tindouf.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Belbalis themselves are ethnically heterogeneous maintaining strong social distinctions between black slaves coming from West Africa and white Berbers or Arabs from the North.

At present, the Korandje language is endangered. All Belbali men and most women speak the local form of Arabic which is so different from standard Arabic as to be mutually unintelligible. Most of these speakers claim to speak only Arabic to their young children. In the Ifrenyu village the council in 1970 resolved to give up Korandje in hopes of improving their children's educational chances by making sure they learned Arabic from the start. The people of Kwara village followed suit in 1980. Nonetheless, Kwara's children have continued to learn Korandje from older teenagers. Belbalis only form a slight majority in the oasis; more than a third of the inhabitants come from elsewhere, mainly Arab ex-nomads settled over the past century. Some of the older generation of immigrants learned Kwarandzyey, but this is unheard of among younger ones, who consider it difficult and pointless.

The isolation and poverty of Tabelbala oasis plus the widespread perception that dark skin correlates with servile ancestry and lack of strong tribal connections, all contribute to a very low prospect of survival of the Korandje language.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Belbali
People Name in Country Belbali
Population in Algeria 3,600
World Population 3,600
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Songhai
People Name General Belbali
Ethnic Code NAB65b
People ID 10774
Country Algeria
Region Middle East and North Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 34  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Tabelbala oasis.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Korandje (3,600)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Korandje 3,600

For Main Lanugage: Korandje

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Format Resource
None reported  
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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