language of Senegal, the Gambia, and Mauritania
Phrasebooks > Wolof phrasebook

Wolof is the main language of Senegal, and is also spoken in Gambia and Mauritania.

Pronunciation guide edit

Note: Wolof is primarily an oral not written language, so written spellings may vary considerably.

Vowels edit

Consonants edit

hyrA

C-
is always pronounced "Ch" Words borrowed from French should use "S" instead of C but might not always be written that way.
R-
Should be rolled.
After a double consonant,
repeat the vowel preceding vowel sound slightly. For example, Tudd (to call oneself) sounds almost like "tuddu" and jamm (peace) sounds like "Jamma" with a very soft a / e muet (if you speak French, for reference) at the end.
Ng -
Difficult for a non-speaker to replicate. Focus on the "g" sound and if possible add the n to the end of the preceding word. For example, Fan nga joge? (Where to you come from) sounds more like Fann ga joge?

Common diphthongs edit

goeses

Phrase list edit

Basics edit

Hello.
Salamalekum (This is Arabic) / Response: Malekum Salaam.
Hello. (informal)
. ( Sa va)French
How are you?
Na'nga def? ( ?)
Fine, thank you.
Mangi fi rekk. ( jama rek or I'm in peace)
Alhumdililay.
Thanks be to God. (From Arabic.) May be used after 'jama rek' to express thanks.
What is your name?
Nanga tudd?
My name is...
Mangi tudd...
Nice to meet you.
. ( )
Please
(S'il vous plait )
Thank you.
Jere jef. ( )
You're welcome.
ñoku boku. ( )
Yes.
. (waaw )
No.
. (de det )
Excuse me. (getting attention)
. (pardon )
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
. (baal ma )
I'm sorry.
. (maasa )
Goodbye
Be benen yoon. ( Means see you next time, or a la prochaine in French )
See you very soon
Leegi leegi.
See you later
Ba ci kanam.
I'm going (informal)
. (maangi dem)
I can't speak Wolof [well].
[ ]. ( [Man degguma ?????? ])
Do you speak English?
? ( Degg nga anglais?)
I speak some english
? (Degg naa tutti tutti anglais)
Help!
! ( dembalema)
Look out!
! ( me hole)
How is the morning?
Naka suba si?
How is the evening?
Naka si ngom si?
Good night.
Fanaanal ak jamm. Plural: Fanaaleen ak jamm. (NB: Slight "a" sound follows the double consonant.)
Good night (to sleep)
. (bon nuit )French
I don't understand.
. (je ne comprend pas )French (Degguma)
Where is... ?
? ( Ana ...?)
Where are you from?
( Fooy degga? ) or Fan nga joge?

Problems edit

Small talk edit

How is your work?
Naka liggeye bi? ( )
How is your family?
Naka wa kerr gi? ( ) or Ana wa ker ga?
My house (family) is fine (here).
Nyung fi rekk.
How did you sleep?
Nanga fananay?
White person
Toubab ( )

Numbers edit

  • 0=dara/nayn (DA-ra/nayn)
  • 1=benn (ben)
  • 2=naar (nyaar)
  • 3=nett (nyet)
  • 4=nent (nyent)
  • 5=juroom (JOO-room)
  • 6=juroom benn (JOO-room ben)
  • 7=juroom naar (JOO-room nyaar)
  • 8=juroom nett (JOO-room nyet)
  • 9=juroom nent (JOO-room nyent)
  • 10=fukk (fook)

Time edit

  • foor duckion

Clock time edit

Duration edit

Monday
Altine
Tuesday
Taalata
Wednesday
Alarba
Thursday
Alxames
Friday
Ajjuma
Saturday
Gaaw
Sunday
Dibeer

Months edit

Writing time and date edit

Colors edit

Transportation edit

Bus and train edit

Directions edit

Taxi edit

Lodging edit

Money edit

How much is it?
Ñaata la? ( )
What does it cost?
Nyata? ( )

Eating edit

Breakfast
( Ndekki )
Lunch
( An )
Dinner
( Reer )

Bars edit

Shopping edit

(Ci) Marse bi
(at) the market
Ñaata la?
How much is it?
____ francs
____ CFA (NB: Numbers used for prices will usually be in French and in thousands with inflation.)
Waxale
to bargain
Maangi waxale
I bargain
Cher na (torop)
It's (very) expensive (Used to try to haggle the price down)


Driving edit

Authority edit

This Wolof phrasebook is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!