Wolof 101

Wolof Peace Corps Course

Wolof Peace Corps CourseThis Wolof course was developed by the U.S. Peace Corps for its volunteers going to Mauritania. It can be useful as a primer for learning the basics of the Wolof language. You can listen and follow along to each lesson or download the whole course directly.

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Lesson 1 – The Alphabet


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Letter(s) As In
i Kit
e Met
é No equivalent
ë Fun
a But
à Fat
o Pot
u Book
ii Meat
ee Fair
éé No equivalent
ëë Girl
aa Far
oo Boy
óó Goat
uu Food
b Bad
c Chair
d Door
f Father
g Good
j Job
k Kit
l Like
m Mother
n Noon
ñ Señor (in Spanish)
? Sing
p Part
q No equivalent
r Rice
s Sit
t Talk
w Word
x Juan (in Spanish)
y Yes
mb No equivalent
nd No equivalent
ng No equivalent
nj No equivalent

Lesson 2 – Vocabulary 1


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Wolof English
Man I
Yow You
Moom He
Moom She
Nun We
Yéen You
Ñoom They
Jigéen A woman
Ay jigéen Women
Góor A man
Ay góor Men
Xale bu jigéen A girl
Xale yu jigéen Girls
Xale bu góor A boy
Xale yu góor Boys
Xale A child
Ay xale Children
Waa kër A family
Yaay Mother
Baay Father
Jabar Wife
Jëkkër Husband
Mag bu jigéen Elder sister
Rakk bu jigéen Younger sister
Mag bu góor Elder brother
Rakk bu góor Younger brother
Suba Morning
Bëccëg Noon
Ngoon Afternoon
Guddi Night
Ndekki Breakfast
Lunch
Reer Dinner

Lesson 3 – Greetings


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Wolof English
Salaamaalekum Peace be upon you (use at any time of the day)
Maalekum salaam And on you, too (reply to the above greeting)
Jamm nga fanaan Good morning
Jamm nga yendu Good afternoon
Jamm nga yendu Good evening
Mbaa yaangi ci jamm? Are you in peace?
Jamm rekk Peace only
Nanga def? How are you?
Maangi fi rek I am fine
Naka waa kër ga? How is the family?
Ñunga fa They are fine
Naka liggéey bi? How is the work?
Jamm rekk, imdilaay It is fine
Nanga def ak coono? How are you with tiredness?
Jamm rekk I am fine
Naka Mary? How is Mary?
Mary mungi ci jamm Mary is fine
Naka xale yi? How are your children?
Ñunga fa They are fine
Bisimila! Welcome!
Mba! Thank you!

Lesson 4 – Numbers


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Wolof English
Benn One
Ñaar Two
Ñatt Three
Ñeent Four
Juróom Five
Juróom benn Six
Juróom ñaar Seven
Juróom ñatt Eight
Juróom ñeent Nine
Fukk Ten
Fukk ak benn Eleven
Fukk ak ñaar Twelve
Fukk ak ñatt Thirteen
Fukk ak ñeent Fourteen
Fukk ak juróom Fifteen
Fukk ak juróom benn Sixteen
Fukk ak juróom ñaar Seventeen
Fukk ak juróom ñatt Eighteen
Fukk ak juróom ñeent Nineteen
Ñaar fukk Twenty

Lesson 5 – Vocabulary 2


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Wolof English
Taabal A table
Siis A chair
Bunt A door
Palanteer A window
Istilo A pen
Kereyo A pencil
karne A notebook
Téeré A book
Saak A bag
Kare Chalk
Tablo Chalk board
Palaat A plate
Kuddu A spoon
Paaka A knife
Bale A broom
Lal A bed
Mbajj A blanket
Darab A bed sheet
Ndes A mat
Yëre Clothes
Simis A shirt
Tubey Pants
Ay dall Shoes
Welo Bike
Lunett Eye glasses
Ndox Water
Attaaya Tea
Kafe Coffee
Meew Milk
Suukër Sugar
Xorom Salt
Ceeb Rice
Jën Fish
Yàpp Meat

Lesson 6 – Vocabulary 3


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Wolof English
Ekool School
Kalaas Classroom
Wanag Toilet
Waañ Kitchen
Mbaar Hangar (Straw roof that you sit under
Kër House
Néeg Room
Xayma Tent
Dispañseer Dispensary
Marse Market
Bitik Shop
Biro Office
Dex River
Teen A well
Pomp Pump
Sardeñ Garden
Tool Field
Liggéeyu kaay Working place
Jakk Mosque
Bànk Bank
Kaar Bus
Aeroport Airport

Lesson 7 – Days of the Week and Time


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Altine Monday
Talaata Tuesday
Allarba Wednesday
Alxamis Thursday
Ajjuma Friday
Aseet Saturday
Dibeer Sunday
Bes bu nekk Every day
Suba su nekk Every morning
Ngoon su nekk Every afternoon
Guddi gu nekk Every night
Altine bu nekk Every Monday
Ajjuma ju nekk Every Friday
Bes Day
Ayu bes Week
Weer Month
At Year
Ayu bes bu nekk Every week
Weer wu nekk Every month
At mu nekk Every year

Lesson 8 – Introducing Yourself


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Wolof English
Maam laa tudd My name is Maam
Baas laa sant My last name is Baas
Nanga tudd? What’s your name?
Nanga sant? What’s your last name?
Waa Moritani laa I am from Mauritania
Sama jabar waa Moritani la My wife is from Mauritania
Yow waa fan nga? Where are you from?
Sa jabar waa fan la? Where is your wife from?
Moom waa fan la? Where is she from?
Moom waa fan la? Where is he from?
John la tudd His name is John
Hogan la sant His last name is Hogan
John du waa Moritani. Waa amerik la John is not from Mauritania. He is from America
Waa Amerik nga? Are you from America?
Déedéet, du ma waa Amerik. No, I am not from America.
Waa Moritani nga? Are you from Mauritania?
Waaw, waa Moritani laa Yes, I am from Mauritania.
Jangalekat laa I am a teacher
Sama jabar du jangalekat My wife is not a teacher
John wolonteer la John is a volunteer
Jabaram du wolonteer His wife is not a volunteer
Jabaru John doctoor la John’s wife is a doctor

Lesson 9 – Saying Goodbye


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Wolof English
Ci jamm! Good-bye!
Ba beneen yoon! See you!
Yendul ak jamm Have a good day
Fanaanal ak jamm Have a good night
Nu fanaan ak jamm May we have a good night
Ci jamm! Stay in peace
Aamiin! Amen!
Ba ëllëg ci suba See you in the morning
Ba ngoon See you in the afternoon
Ba booru bëccëg See you around noon
Ba guddi See you in the evening
Ba ëllëg See you tomorrow
Ba ci kanam See you soon
Ba ci fan yii See you later

Lesson 10 – Useful Expressions


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Wolof English
Dama sonn I am tired
Dama gëmentu I am sleepy
Dama xiif I am hungry
Xiif-u ma I am not hungry
Dama mar I am thirsty
Mar-u ma I am not thirsty
Dafa tang It’s hot
Tang-ul It’s not hot
Dafa sedd It’s cold
Sedd-ul It’s not cold
Baal ma Excuse me
Baal naa la You are excused
Fan nga jëm? Where are you going?
Maa ngi jëm kër ga I am going home
Maa ngi jëm ekool I am going to school
John mungi jëm marse John is going to the market
Mungi jëm ci bitik bi He is going to the shop
Jëm-uma biro ba I’m not going to the office
Degg nga Wolof? Do you speak Wolof?
Waaw, degg naa Wolof tuuti rekk Yes, I speak Wolof a little bit
John degg-ul Wolof John doesn’t speak Wolof
Bëgg-uma français I don’t like French
Bëgg-uma kafe I don’t like coffee
Jennifer dafa bëgg lakk Wolof Jennifer likes Wolof
Damay jang I study
Damay lekk I eat
Damay liggéey I work
Moom jang-ul He doesn’t study
Moom lekk-ul She doesn’t eat
Ñoom liggéey-uñu They don’t work
Damay nelaw tuuti I am having some sleep
Liggéey-uma léegi I don’t work now
Dama bëgg noppalu I want to rest

Original Course Text

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