As I mentioned it earlier, my fluency in Wolof is limited BUT today I will give you basics that will help you get around Dakar easily. Wolof originated as the language of the Lebu people, an ethnic group of Senegal. It is the most spoken language in Senegal.

 

Spoken natively by the Wolof people, who make up 40% of the population, but also by most other Senegalese people as a second language. Wolof dialects vary geographically and between rural and urban areas. For instance, Dakar – Wolof is an urban mixture of Wolof, French and Arabic.

 

  • Greetings:

Salaam alekum: Good Morning/Good Afternoon, Greetings in general:

 

Nanga def: How are you?

 

Mangi fi rekk, na nga def?: Im fine, How are you?

 

Jamm rek, Yow nak?: I’m good and you?

 

Ba beneen [Beu bénéen]: Goodbye

 

Dalal ak jamm: Welcome

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  • Conversations:

Noo tudd [No tudu] : What’s your name

 

Marie la tudd [… la tudu] : My name is Marie

 

Deg nga Wolof? : Do you speak Wolof ?

 

Fan nga jog [Fan ngeu jogé]: Where are you from?

 

Jerrejef [Jai-ruh-jeuf]: Thank you

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  • Transportation:

Mangui dem: I’m leaving

 

Da mey dem Mermoz. Ñaata la? [Nyata leu]: Im going to Mermoz. How much is it?

 

Fi bakhna: Stop here

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  • Food :

Kaye ndekki: Come eat breakfast

 

Kay an [Kaye agne]: Come eat lunch

 

Kat reer [Kaye rér]: Come eat dinner

 

Thiep bi nekhna [Fan ngeu jog]: This thiep is good

 

Jaay me biscuit biskrem [Djaie meu …]: Sell me some biscuit/biskrem

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  • Wolof sayings :

 

Yallah bakhna: God is good. Said to express hope

 

Lou méti yagoul: Hard times never last long

 

Gueumeul yalla: Believe in God

 

Mbolo moy dolle: Unity is strength