Basic Wolof Phrases


See original list here: Some Essential Wolof Phrases
For help with pronunciation see: Pronunciation Guide

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Essentials | sólo

Wolof / Français
[Pulaar / Mandinka]

Salaam aleekum. / Bonjour.
sa·laam a·ley·kum / bon·zhoor
[P: No ngoolu daa. / M: I be ñaading.]

Mangi dem. / Au revoir.
maan·gee dem / o·rer·vwar
[P: Ñalleen e jamm. / M: Fo tuma doo.]

Bu la neexee. / S’il vous plaît.
boo la ney·khey / seel voo pley
[P: Njaafodaa. / M: Dukare.]

Thank you.
Jërejëf. / Merci.
je·re·jef / mair·see
[P: A jaaraamah. / M: I ning bara.]

You’re welcome.
Amul sólo. / Je vous en prie.
uh·mool so·lo / zher voo zom pree
[P: Enen ndendidum. / M: Mbee le dentaala.]

Waaw. / Oui.
wow / wee
[P: Eey. / M: Haa.]

Déedéet. / Non.
dey·deyt / non
[P: Alaa. / M: Hani.]

Sorry. (Excuse me.)
Baal ma. (Jéggël ma.) / Pardon. (Excusez-moi.)
baal ma (jey·guhl mah) / par·don (ek·skew·zay·mwa)
[P: Achanam hakke. (Yaafo.) / M: Hakko tuñe.]

Do you speak English?
Ndax dégg nga angale? / Parlez-vous anglais?
ndakh deg nguh an·ga·ley / par·ley·voo ong·ley
[P: Ada faama engale? / M: Ye angkale kango moyle?]

Do you understand? (Do you speak … ?)
Dégg nga? / Comprenez-vous?
deg nguh / kom·pre·ney·voo
[P: (Ada nana … ?) / M: (Ye … kango moyle?)]

I understand.
Dégg naa. / Je comprends.
deg na / zher kom·pron
[P: Mi faami. / M: Ngaa kalamuta le.]

I don’t understand.
Dégguma. / Je ne comprends pas.
deg·goo·ma / zher ner kom·pron pa
[P: Mi faamaani / M: Mma kalamuta.]

Wóoy! / Au secours!
wohy / o·skoor
[P: Ballal! / M: Nso orangzola!]


Meeting & Greeting | ndaje ak nuyoo

May peace be with you. (“Hello.”)
As salaamu alay kum.

How was your night? (“Good morning.”)
Jàmm nga fanaane?

How was your day? (“Good afternoon/evening.”)
Jàmm nga yendoo?

  • Very peaceful.
    Jàmm rekk. (Peace only.)

How are you?
Na nga def?

  • I’m fine.
    Maa ngi fi. (I am here.)

How is your family?
Ana sa waa kër?

  • They are fine.
    Jàmm rekk. / Ñu nga fa. (They are there.)

Is your wife well?
Mbaa sa jabar jàmm?

How is your child?
Sa doom jàmm?

  • He/She is fine.
    Mi ngi ci jàmm. (He/She is at peace.)

What is your name?
Nanga tudd?

  • My name is …
    Maa ngi tudd …

Where are you from?
Foo jóge?


At the Market | ci marse bi

How much?/How many?
Ñaata la?

How much are you selling this for?
Ñaata ngay jaaye bii?

How much is it?
Ñaata lay jar?

That’s expensive!
Seer na lóol!

I will pay
Fey naa la …

What did you say?
Nga ni?

Reduce your price!

I’ll add 100cfa, but no more.
Tekk naa ci ñaar-fukk, du ma ci yokk dara.

I can’t add any more.
Du ma ci tekk dara.

How much is your fish?
Sa jën wi, ñaata lay jar?

  • 100cfa.
    Ñaar fukk. (20 – multiply by 5 to get cfa amount.)

I will pay 75cfa.
Fey naa la fukk ak juróom.

  • How many do you want?

Three, how much is that?
Ñett, ñaata la?

  •  225cfa, give me the money.
    Ñeent fukk ak juróom, indil xaalis bi.

Thank you.
Jërë jëf.

That watch, how much does it cost?
Sa montre bi, ñaata lay jar?

Bring your price down a bit.

Ñetti teemeer. (three hundred)

I’ll add 100cfa, nothing more.
Tegg naa ci ñaar fukk, du ma ci yokk dara.

  • Give me the money.
    Indil xaalis bi.

These shoes, how much are they?
Sa dall yi, ñaata lay jar?

That’s very expensive!
Seer na lool!

  • What would be a better price?
    Lu seerul?

Juroom mbenni teemeer ak juróom ñett fukk. (680 / 5 + 1 x 100 + 5 + 3 x 10)


Taxis | taksi bi

How much is it from here to Sandaga?
Fii ba Sandaga ñaata? (Here until Sandaga how much?)

  • 1000cfa.
    Ñaari teemeer. (200)

That’s too much, how about 700cfa?
Seer na lool, teemeer ak ñeent fukk angi?

  • That’s no good, I’ll do it for 850cfa.
    Loolu baaxul, defal naa la ko teemeer ak juróom ñaar fukk.

I only have 800cfa.
Teemeer ak juróom benn fukki dërëm laa am.

  • OK, get in.

Stop here.
Taxawal fii./Fii baax na./May ma fii.


Dining | lekk

I am hungry.
Da maa xiif.

I am thirsty.
Da maa mar.

Excuse me, where is the nearest restaurant?
Baal ma, fan moo am restoraan?

Where is the toilet/restroom?
Fan mooy seen wanaag?

Thank you.
Jërë-jëf. (The act was worth it.)

May peace be with you. (“Hello.”)
As salaamu alay kum.

  • And with you be peace.
    Mu alay kum salaam.
  • Welcome. / Come in.
    Agsi leen. (You‘ve arrived.)

A table for three.
Ñett lanu. (We are three people.)

What do you have that is ready?
Lu fi am soti.

  • Here’s the menu.
    Kart baa ngi.

I will have fish-and-rice.
Di naa jël ceebu jën.

For me, the yassa.
Man, yaasa.

Is there mafé?
Ndax am na maafe mi?

I do not like hot pepper.
Bëgguma kaani.

I like hot pepper.
Bëgg naa kaani.

  • It’s spicy.
    Saf na kaani. (It tastes hot.)
  • It’s not spicy.
    Saful kaani. (It does not taste hot.)
  • What will you have to drink?
    Lu ngeen di naan?

Bring us some sweet drinks.
Indil nu naan gu saf suukër.

Please bring me/us some cold water.
Indil ma/nu ndox mu sedd.

Some ice please.
Tuuti galaas.

It is cold.
Sedd na.

It is not cold.

It is hot.
Tang na.

It is not hot.

More sauce please.
Dollil tuuti ñeex.

I/We would like to pay.
Damaa/Danu bëgg fey.

It was good.
Neexoon na.

I am full.
Suur na.

We are going.
Nu ngi dem.

Goodbye for now.
Ba beneen yoon. (Until next time.)


Telling the Time | waxtu wi

What time is it?
Ban waxtoo jot?

Do you have a watch?
Am nga montar?

  • Yes, I have a watch.
    Waaw am naa montar.
  • No, I don’t have a watch.
    Amuma montar.
  • It is 10 o’clock.
    Fukki waxtu a jot.
  • It is 10:30am.
    Fukki waxtu ak genne-wall a jot.

Look up words: Dictionary
Find more phrases: Phrase Dictionary

Download Basic Wolof Phrases as a PDF file that you can access offline on your computer or smartphone. (Includes about 400 extra phrases.)

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This site will always remain free but by making a small donation you will be helping me to be able to acquire more Wolof resources that I can use to make this site even better. Many of these resources are rare and can cost $100 or more! (many of which I have to translate from other languages) Which is the reason I started this site in the first place — because of the lack of access to Wolof materials for English speakers, and hopefully I’ve been doing my small part to provide a suitable place for English speakers wishing to learn this wonderful language.

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  1. I used to live in Senegal as a Peace Corps volunteer years ago. Reading these phrases in Wolof again brought back many memories of my time there. I am a teacher and found your sight in hopes of teaching my first grade students some basic Wolof. I am glad you have made this sight available to people like me and fellow toubabs who want to visit your beautiful country. All the best to you.


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