Note that these are just general tips and that these rules may not always apply as writers of Wolof sometimes use different spelling systems.
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
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
How do you pronounce kh – as in Cheikh (Lô)?
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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”.
how do you pronounce baobab? As in the African baobab tree… Thank you
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.
English to Wolof/French Dictionary now available for download: