Sunday, October 25, 2009

LeArn To SpEak WoLof!

I am certainly no authority on teaching anyone how to speak Wolof, but I have picked up a couple of phrases that you may find useful if you ever come to Senegal or run across a Senegalese person. Plus, learning a language is always fun.

Rule #1: Senegal is a majority muslim country so many of the phrases are in fact arabic. Mach'Allah, for instance, means May God Maintain it, in Arabic.

Inch'Allah means God-willing, and you will use this phrase after many many phrases. If you don't, there's a possibility people will look at you funny.

Alhumdoullilah means all praises to God. It's also what I say when someone greets me and I have no idea what they are saying. But I would only do that if you know the person, then they think it's kind've funny.

Rule #2: There are like a thousand ways to greet someone in Wolof. When you speak to someone I would say you use at least 3 in a row before moving on to the next thing.

Let the learning begin! Keep in mind I'm spelling these words phonetically as I hear them.

Nanga def-how are you
Mange fee- I'm good.

Yange se diam?- Do you have peace.
Mange se diam- I have peace.

Yange noce (I don't know what this means exactly but it is a greeting and the response is below)
Mange noce

waw- yes
dedet- no

Da ma (I am) Da ma...
heef- hungry
sone- tired
mer- angry
yacumte- in a hurry

Lekka!- Eat
Lek gue be soo?- Did you eat enough?
Lek nabesoo- I ate enough.
Tau no nekhna- It was delicious

Jeddejef- thank you
nuk a buk- we are one (you're welcome)

Mange niew- I am coming.
Kay- come
Kay talk fee- Come sit here.

to tee to tee- a little

Da fa tanga!!!!- It is hot!!!!

Jogo- stand up
Togo- sit down

Mange dem-I am leaving
Foy dem?- Where are you going?

Mange dem nelow- I am going to sleep.

Nopee- Be quiet

Maima- give me. Maima...
ndokh- water
hallis- money

lo bug a- What do you want?

ya suma hol- you are my heart

Basouba, inch'allah- Good night God willing.

Babenin yo inch'allah- until next time, God willing.

That's it for now, try it out!


  1. Waaw yaw degg nga wolof deh!

  2. is you're welcome "nuck a buck" ?
    If so I will be using! lol

  3. I already know all about this I speak this language lol aahah