Here are a few things that you may come across if traveling to Senegal or the Gambia.
afra – grilled meat, or grilled meat stall (Gambia)
benechin – rice baked in a thick sauce of fish and vegetables (Gambia)
cadeau – gift, tip, bribe or a hand-out (Senegal)
dash – bribe (noun); also used as a verb ‘You dash me something …’ (Gambia)
Ecowas – Economic Community of West African States
factory – fortified slaving station
garage – bus and bush-taxi station (Gambia)
harmattan – the light winds from the north which carry tiny particles of sand from the desert, causing skies to become hazy from December to February
IMF – International Monetary Fund
latcheri – pounded millet
mafé – thick brown groundnut sauce
ndeup – ceremonies where people with a mental illness are treated and healed (Senegal)
occasion – lift (noun), or place in a car or bus (often shortened to occas) (Senegal)
palava – meeting place
Quran – Islamic holy book (also called Koran)
Ramsar – an international convention primarily concerned with the conservation of wetland habitats and associated wildlife
salon du thé – tea shop (Senegal)
tampon – stamp (eg, in passport) (Senegal)
ventilé – room with a fan (Senegal)
Thanks to Lonely Planet’s The Gambia & Senegal; 2nd Edition.
although the source that i got these from states that garage is used in gambia exclusively i know from first hand experience that it is also used in senegal with its french pronunciation. in america we tend to think of a garage as a covered structure but often times in senegal a garage was just a huge uncovered parking lot.
[…] Friday, January 4, 2008 by Jangalekat Wolof See Travel Vocabulary I […]
Here are a few words regarding tea since you mentioned salon du thé:
Duté – tea
Lipton – European/American tea in a tea bag
Warga – Chinese tea
Attaaya – Traditional tea
Kenkiliba – Sometimes considered a medicinal tea
Sometimes you may see people putting cloves or mint in their tea
Xorom polle – cloves
Naa-naa (mant) – mint
The word for sugar is Suukër
When people drink attaaya there are usually three progressively sweeter pours for the tea. Each pour has a specific name although my Wolof is not good enough to remember all three names.
The three rounds are lewel, naarel, nettel.
A fuurno is the grill used for making attaya and the teapot is a barada.
The rounds getting sweeter represents friendship getting sweeter with time.
Jamm ak jamm
thats interesting…of all the attaya sessions ive had i have never heard each round being called a specific name. besides the progressively sweeter rounds representing friendship i have also heard of it representing love between a man and a woman.
English to Wolof/French Dictionary now available for download: