Category Archives: Wolof

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:

Basic Wolof Phrases

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

↓ scroll down for more resources ↓

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!]

Continue reading Basic Wolof Phrases

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 ?

Traduction En Wolof

Wolof audio translation of an Islamic speech.

AUDIOS – Traduction en Wolof du « Wassilatoul Mouna ou Tayssir » de Seydil Hadj Malick SY

AUDIOS - Traduction en Wolof du « Wassilatoul Mouna ou Tayssir » de Seydil Hadj Malick SY
AUDIOS – Traduction en Wolof du « Wassilatoul Mouna ou Tayssir » de Seydil Hadj Malick SY

Learn Wolof



Wolof Video Course

5 Video lessons/chapters are available for free. The site is funded by a grant and they are looking for contributors to help develop more learning materials.

Wolof Online

A Wolof Primer. Some people say Wolof if too hard to learn or teach, this website is seeking to prove them wrong. There ae 11 learning modules (for a fee) and a English-Wolof dictionary and Wolof grammar text that you can download for free in .pdf format.

Wikipedia – Wolof

Improve your Wolof language skills by reading the Wolof language version of Wikipedia.

Learning Wolof Language

An Annotated Guide to Learning the Wolof Language

An Annotated Guide to Learning the Wolof Language
An Annotated Guide to Learning the Wolof Language

So you would like to learn Wolof?

This site offers links to a whole lot of resources both on and off the Internet to help you do just that. We give you some guidance about how to go about learning Wolof, especially if you have access to a native Wolof speaker. We have provided a guide on how to make each sound in Wolof. We have also provided a detailed Senegalese Wolof grammar manual (.pdf format, 382kB) and a number of vocabulary resource pages, listing Wolof vocabulary for a particular subject. Then there are resources you might find helpful. And the Internet provides plenty of things for you to read and listen to in Wolof. A good number of institutions in the U.S.A and Europe actually have Wolof courses. Finally there are various articles about the Wolof language and its use, right from the very light to serious academic works. A new addition to the site is a series of modules in Wolof for the program Online Bible including those parts of the Bible in Wolof published to date, a gospel harmony, a Wolof Bible dictionary, and a Wolof-English Bible dictionary-concordance.

Francais Wolof

Wolof resources in French.

Dictionnaire wolof

Dictionnaire wolof
Lexilogos – mots et merveilles d’ici et d’allieurs


 Dictionnaire wolof-français & français-wolof (extraits) par Jean-Léopold Diouf (2003) dictionnaire wolof > français & français > wolof (succinct) dictionnaire wolof-anglais [PDF]

 proverbes wolofs & traduction en français

 Dictionnaire français-volof & abrégé de la grammaire volofe, par V.-J. Guy-Grand & O. Abiven (1923) 

 La langue wolof & vocabulaire français-wolof, par Jean-Baptiste Rambaud (1903)

 Dictionnaire français-wolof et français-bambara, par Jean Dard (1825)

 dictionnaire wolof > français

Apprendre Le Wolof

Online Wolof course in French.

Cours De Wolof

Damay Jang Wolof
Les Cours de Wolof en ligne

Vous pouvez en plus des leçons télécharger le dictionnaire Freelang. Il vous permet :

– de faire une recherche de mots le français et le wolof.
– d’ajouter vos propre mots de vocabulaires que vous apprendrez dans les leçons.
– de créer des listes d’apprentissages sous forme de jeu pour assimiler petit à petit le vocabulaire.

Mode d’emploi :
1) télécharger le programme en cliquant ici 
2) décompressez le (automatique avec Windows XP)
3) Ouvrez dictionnaire.exe
4) Ouvrez install.exe
5) Ca y est c’est fini ! Il ne vous reste plus quà lancer le programme en allant dans “démarrer -> programmes ->dictionnaire”

Wolof Phrases: “am”

am – to be, exist, to have; a/an; imperative; or


Ndëmm amul.He said that witchcraft does not exist.

Am na ñetti doom.He has three children.

Am sa caabi!Take your key!

Dafa am xel-ñaar ci mbir mi, moo tax joxeegul tontam.He hesitated on the issue, which is why he has not yet given his answer. (am xel-ñaarhesitate)


Source: Dictionnaire wolof-français, Arame Fal.

Pulaar Phrases: Essentials

Hello. – No ngoolu daa.
Goodbye. – Ñalleen e jamm.
Please. – Njaafodaa.
Thank you. – A jaaraamah.
You’re welcome. – Enen ndendidum.
Yes. – Eey.
No. – Alaa.
Excuse me. – Yaafo.
Sorry. – Achanam hakke.
Help! – Ballal!

Wolof Vocabulary: Meat


beef – yarpe-nack
chicken – yarpe-ganarre
goat – yarpe-baiy
hamburger – hamburger
lamb – yarpe-harre
meat – yarpa
pork – yarpe-mbam
shrimp – cepa-cepa


Source: Wolof Dictionary & Phrasebook, Nyima Kantorek.

Wolof Grammar: Conjunctions


The coordinating conjunctions in English are: and, but, or, yet, for, nor & so.


In this post we will be dealing specifically with the and conjunction which in Wolof is ak/ag when connecting nouns and pronouns or te when connecting verbs and phrases.


Below are examples of ak in use:


ak kan? – and who?
man ak yow – me and you
ndey ak baay – mother and father
bile ak bale – this and that
suma xaalis ak sa xaalis – my money and your money


Ak also means with:


mu tase fa ak bukkihe encountered there a hyena
ak jamma – with peace, in peace
kaay ak ñun – come with us
pañe bi dafa fees ak dojthe basket is full of stones
dox na ñaar i fan ak fas am – he went for two days with his horse
mu rendi ko ak paaka – he cut its throat with a knife
kaay lekka ak ñun – come eat with us


When used with numbers ak is used like plus:


fukk ak benn – eleven
fukk ak ñaar – twelve
fukk ak ñett – thirteen


Source: Gambian Wolof – English Dictionary, David P. Gamble.

Wolof Religion: Islamic Terms


Asalaam alaikum.
May peace be with you. (greeting)

Malaikum salaam.
And with you be peace. (reply to above)

Allahu akbar.
God is greater. (than me, you, anything)

Praise God. (said to thank God)

In God’s name. (said before meals)

If God wills it. (refers to a future action)

What God wishes. (indicates a good omen)

Senegalese Wrestling

Laamb – la lutte sénégalaise

Pro Wrestling, Senegal Style
Pro Wrestling, Senegal Style

Pro Wrestling, Senegal Style –

Senegalese wrestling
Senegalese wrestling match at the stade Demba Diop in Dakar.

Senegalese wrestling (fr. Lutte sénégalaiseNjom in Serer languageLaamb in Wolof) is a type of Folk wrestling traditionally performed by the Serer people and now a national sport in Senegal and parts of The Gambia, and is part of a larger West African form of traditional wrestling (fr. Lutte Traditionnelle). The Senegalese form traditionally allows blows with the hands (frappe), the only of the West African traditions to do so. As a larger confederation and championship around Lutte Traditionnelle has developed since the 1990s, Senegalese fighters now practice both forms, called officially Lutte Traditionnelle sans frappe (for the international version) and Lutte Traditionnelle avec frappe for the striking version. Senegalese wrestling – Wikipedia

Laamb glossary:

laamb – traditional Senegalese wrestling. Laamb is the Wolof word for wrestling which is borrowed from Serer Fara-Lamb Siin (Fara of Mandinka origin whilst Lamb of Serer origin) the chief griot who used to beat the tam-tam of Sine called Lamb or Laamb in Serer. The lamb was part of the music accompaniment of wrestling in pre-colonial times as well as after Senegal’s independence. The Serer word for wrestling is njom which derives from the Serer word jom (heart or honour). In French it is called Lutte sénégalaise. 

gris-gris (pronounced gree-gree) – also spelled grigri, is a voodoo amulet originating in Africa which is believed to protect the wearer from evil or brings luck, and in some West African countries is used as a method of birth control. It consists of a small cloth bag, usually inscribed with verses from the Qur’an and containing a ritual number of small objects, worn on the person. Although the exact origins of the word are unknown, some historians trace the word back to the African word juju meaning fetish. An alternative theory is that the word originates with the French joujou meaning doll or play-thing.

mbër – Laamb wrestler.

bàkk – a type of dance performed before a match. (not sure if this is something that is still done or something that was done before it became a national sport)

More YouTube – Senegalese wrestling videos