Pronunciation Tips

Note that these are just general tips and that these rules may not always apply as writers of Wolof sometimes use different spelling systems.

CONSONANTS:

j is pronounced as in jazz but with the tongue a bit nearer the top front teeth

c is pronounced as in church with the tongue a little nearer the top front teeth

ñ is pronounced as in the middle sound in canyon with the tongue tip just behind the front teeth

q is pronounced as a k pulled back into the throat

x is pronounced as in loch in Scottish English or bach in German, with the tongue pulled back in the throat

VOWELS:

a is pronounced as the u in butter not as in cat

à is pronounced as the ‘a’ sound in British English life

e is pronounced as in bed

é is pronounced like the French é, almost like the i in big

ë is pronounced as in Brithish English bird

i is pronounced as in beat

o is pronounced as in hot

ó is pronounced as in the French beau, it does not exist in English

u is pronounced a bit like book but with the lips more rounded

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6 responses to “Pronunciation Tips

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  1. I believe that it is pronounced like “shake” as in ‘milkshake’. Normally a ‘kh’ would represent a gutteral sound but I don’t believe that it does in this case. And the name itself comes from the Arabic word for “leader”.

  2. baobab /bä’ōbăb’/

    bao- like in ‘to bow down’ or ‘the ships bow’.
    -bab like in ‘his name is Bob’ or ‘to bob and weave’

    sometimes it is pronounced with a slight ‘oh’ sound (as in the name of the letter ‘o’) between the two syllables making it more like a 3 syllable word.

    so if you pronounce it like a cross between ‘bow-bob’ and ‘bow-oh-bob’ you should be alright.

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