Basic Wolof Phrases

See original list here: Some Essential Wolof Phrases
For help with pronunciation see: Pronunciation Guide

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Essentials | sólo

Wolof / Français
[Pulaar / Mandinka]


Salaam aleekum. / Bonjour.
sa·laam a·ley·kum / bon·zhoor
[P: No ngoolu daa. / M: I be ñaading.]

Mangi dem. / Au revoir.
maan·gee dem / o·rer·vwar
[P: Ñalleen e jamm. / M: Fo tuma doo.]

Bu la neexee. / S’il vous plaît.
boo la ney·khey / seel voo pley
[P: Njaafodaa. / M: Dukare.]

Thank you.
Jërejëf. / Merci.
je·re·jef / mair·see
[P: A jaaraamah. / M: I ning bara.]

You’re welcome.
Amul sólo. / Je vous en prie.
uh·mool so·lo / zher voo zom pree
[P: Enen ndendidum. / M: Mbee le dentaala.]

Waaw. / Oui.
wow / wee
[P: Eey. / M: Haa.]

Déedéet. / Non.
dey·deyt / non
[P: Alaa. / M: Hani.]

Sorry. (Excuse me.)
Baal ma. (Jéggël ma.) / Pardon. (Excusez-moi.)
baal ma (jey·guhl mah) / par·don (ek·skew·zay·mwa)
[P: Achanam hakke. (Yaafo.) / M: Hakko tuñe.]

Do you speak English?
Ndax dégg nga angale? / Parlez-vous anglais?
ndakh deg nguh an·ga·ley / par·ley·voo ong·ley
[P: Ada faama engale? / M: Ye angkale kango moyle?]

Do you understand? (Do you speak … ?)
Dégg nga? / Comprenez-vous?
deg nguh / kom·pre·ney·voo
[P: (Ada nana … ?) / M: (Ye … kango moyle?)]

I understand.
Dégg naa. / Je comprends.
deg na / zher kom·pron
[P: Mi faami. / M: Ngaa kalamuta le.]

I don’t understand.
Dégguma. / Je ne comprends pas.
deg·goo·ma / zher ner kom·pron pa
[P: Mi faamaani / M: Mma kalamuta.]

Wóoy! / Au secours!
wohy / o·skoor
[P: Ballal! / M: Nso orangzola!]

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Gambia: The Formidable Baye Janha – An Incredible Guitar Legend

An African man playing the xalam.

Baye Janha plays the guitar like the ancient Khalam of the Wolof tribe of the Senegambia region and the Ganawa south Moroccan sound to a mass effect with his guitar. He was the band leader of the Gelewarr band, the Super Alligators, Fabulous Eagles, Supreme Eagles, Tambato band, the Karantaba band and Ifang Bondi. His playing technique can be distinctly heard on the SARABA CD/ALBUM recorded in Senegal on Griot records. He was awarded a medal in Algeria as one of Africa’s top guitarists with his solo group The Karantaba Band.

Full story:

Baay Bia – Liy Am Amna [Official Video w/Subtitles]

World-renowned Senegalese griot, singer, poet and emcee Baay Bia linked up with Nomadic Wax in 2007 on his first trip to the United States. Since then, he has toured with the Nomadic Wax ‘African Underground All Stars’ on numerous occasions. Baay Bia is a unique emcee who combines the traditional musical sounds of Senegal with contemporary hip hop and reggae. He rhymes and sings in Wolof and was born into a griot family, a lineage that has a major influence over his music and his sound. In July of 2009, Baay Bia worked together with Nomadic Wax filmmaker Magee McIlvaine (co-director of ‘Democracy in Dakar’) to put together a music video for ‘Liy Am Amna,’ one of Baay Bia’s most popular songs in Senegal.

Wolof Language – Wikipedia

 Wolof is a language of SenegalThe Gambia, and Mauritania, and the native language of the Wolof people. Like the neighbouring languages Serer and Fula, it belongs to the Senegambian branch of the Niger–Congo language family. Unlike most other languages of Sub-Saharan Africa, Wolof is not a tonal language.

Wolof Language from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Wolof Alphabet

Latin alphabet for Wolof

Latin alphabet for Wolof

Wolof (Latin) alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ëë Ff Gg Ii
Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Ññ Ŋŋ Oo Pp
Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Ww Xx Yy

Wolof was first written with a version of the Arabic script known as Wolofal, which is still used by many older men in Senegal. The Wolof orthography using the Latin alphabet was standardised in 1974 and is the official script for Wolof in Senegal.

Wolof is also sometimes written with an alphabet devised by Assane Faye, a Senegalese artist, in 1961. This alphabet is written from right to left and is modelled loosely on the Arabic script.

Traduction Wolof

Dictionaries, translation and language resources

Home > Online dictionaries by language > Wolof dictionaries

Home > Online dictionaries by language > Wolof dictionaries

English Wolof Dictionary – 1995 (EN<->WO), Swedish/Wolof/English Dictionary (SV>WO-EN), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (MULTI) 
Freelang Dictionary (FR<->WO), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (MULTI) 
De Judicibus – Italian-Wolof General Dictionary (IT<->WO), Bravo – Wolof Swearing Dictionary (WO>IT), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (MULTI) 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (MULTI) 
Swedish/Wolof/English Dictionary (SV>WO-EN), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (MULTI) 

Traduction Francais Wolof

Basic Wolof glossary in French.

Un petit lexique de base

Le vocabulaire de tous les jours

Le vocabulaire de tous les jours

Certaines choses difficiles à traduire

  • Way : synonyme de copain, pote, qu’on utilise aussi quand la personne n’est pas du tout un copain (laisse-moi way).
  • Dé ! : interjection qui marque la fin d’une phrase, pour en souligner fortement son contenu (il a trop duré dé !).
  • Dal : signifie « alors » et sert également à insister : toi dal. Sert également de virgule.
  • Sakh : utilisé avec « torop » (voir ci-dessous), signigie « même » et permet d’accentuer le caractère excessif d’une chose : ki, da fa rafet torop sakh = elle, elle est très jolie même.
  • Nag : signifie « en tout cas, aussi ». Kon nag : donc
  • Chetetet ! : exclamation utilisée pour marquer la stupéfaction la plus totale. (Le car rapide est tombé de l’autoroute : chetetet !)
  • Borom : propriétaire, patron, chef : Borom kër : chef de famille – borom bitik : boutiquier – borom taxi : chauffeur de taxi.
  • Xanna : signifie « est-ce que », mais s’emploie lorsqu’on suppose que la réponse est positive : Xanna il est fou ?