Proper greetings in the Wolof culture are very important. Often times one will spend several minutes with greetings and pleasantries before getting down to the purpose of their visit. Sometimes the whole visit will just be greetings. Even on Senegalese call-in radio shows the callers and hosts will exchange many greetings before getting on with the caller’s question or comment.

We have put here the four most common greetings you are most likely to encounter on a daily basis when visiting Wolof countries. We have included both Arabic and French as well as Wolof.




salaam alaikum

malaikum salaam

greeting a group of people
or entering one’s house

nanga def

maangi fi

greeting an individual

ça va

ça va

greeting an individual in passing

ba beneen

ba beneen

upon leaving an individual

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