- Number of Speakers: 17,600,000
- Spoken in: Gambia, Mauritania, Senegal
- Language Family: Niger-Congo
- Writing System: Latin alphabets
Introduction to the Wolof Language
Wolof is a language spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania, and is the native language of the Wolof people. Unlike most other languages of Sub-Saharan Africa, Wolof is not a tonal language. Wolof dialects may vary between countries (Senegal and the Gambia) and the rural and urban areas. “Dakar-Wolof”, for instance, is an urban mixture of Wolof, French, Arabic, and even a little English – spoken in Dakar, the capital of Senegal.
Study Wolof Online
These are some online resources for learning Wolof. They are listed roughly in order from beginner to advanced. Some are free, many offer free trials or paid upgrades. I try to let you know what and how much you can learn for free and what else you can get if you decide to pay (and how much that extra will cost). I want to include as much depth and variety as possible with these links. If you know of a good website for learning Wolof that you think I should add, then please leave a link in the comments at the bottom of this page. (That way others don’t have to wait for my next page update to visit your link!)
- Wolof Video Course
- 5 Video lessons/chapters are available for free. The site is funded by a grant and they are looking for contributors to help develop more learning materials.
- Wolof Online
- A Wolof Primer. Some people say Wolof if too hard to learn or teach, this website is seeking to prove them wrong. There ae 11 learning modules (for a fee) and a English-Wolof dictionary and Wolof grammar text that you can download for free in .pdf format.
- Wikipedia – Wolof
- Improve your Wolof language skills by reading the Wolof language version of Wikipedia.
Learn Wolof with Books & Software
My goal in selecting products for this section is to provide the best overview of learning materials for Wolof. Some of these are aimed at the beginner or casual learner while others are intended for more advanced or serious students. The prices generally reflect the amount and level of the material covered as well as the general availability of Wolof learning materials.
The following are items from Amazon.com. After looking at many similar products sold elsewhere online, I believe that Amazon has the best overall value for the majority of language learning books and software. Language Learning System is an Amazon affiliate and will get a small commission if you purchase any of these products from our link. That commission goes to keeping this site online and updated. It does not change the price you pay for the item(s).