Opposites Attract


beginning – end dohre – jehh/rach
cheap – expensive yormba – sehre
easy – difficult yormba – nahary
friend – enemy harit – mbargne
happy – unhappy contarn – mehr
in – out duga – gayna
left – right charmorgne – ndeyjohre
near – far jeague – sory
open – close oube – tayche
peace – war jarma – hareh
question – answer larch – torntu
safety – danger moitu – haiy
tall – short gouda – garta
up – down kow – shoofe
wide – narrow yartu – hertt


  1. I think that using the official correct wolof spelling would be better for easier understanding. Then it would look like this:

    beginning – ending (verb) : door/tammbali – jeex/mujj

    cheap – expensive : yomb- jafe (“cher” is a French word”)

    easy – difficult: jomb – jafe (naqari/naqadi means rather “unpleasant” than “difficult”)

    friend – enemy: xarit b- – noon b-

    happy – unhappy: beg – tiis (“kontaan” is a French word, while “mer” means “angry” and oppositum of “mer” could be “and ak sago”)

    in-out: IMHO, untranslatable.

    inside – outside: ci biir – ci biti

    enter – get out: duggu – genn

    left – right: cammoň – ndeyjoor

    near – far: jege – sori

    open – close (verb only): ubbi – téjj

    peace – war: jamm -xare

    “mooytu” is a verb meaning “avoid” . Safety is rather called “kaaraange”.


  2. Thank you. The source that I used for that list used the orthography created by Nyima Kantorek for her dictionary and phrasebook which is based on British English for spoken Gambian Wolof. I prefer the CLAD system myself and use it as much as possible. But since Wolof was never really a written language there is not a universally “official correct” spelling system for Wolof words so I try to offer alternate spellings from time to time…however, I do try to use the CLAD as often as possible because I think it has been proven to be a superior method.

    Thanks again for your input and please offer your knowledge whenever you feel inclined to do so because I need all the help I can get! 🙂


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