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Pape Amadou Gaye

Practical Course in Wolof: An Audio-Aural Approach.

Peace Corps, Washington, D.C.


PDF Version in the ERIC Collection


This course is aimed at those interested in learning the Wolof language, the most widely used language in Senegal, spoken by more than 80% of the Senegalese and Gambian people. Wolof is also used by same very important Senegale populations in neighboring Mali, Guinea Bissau and a large section of the Mauritanian population north of Senegal.

The chapters are organized in "themes" which allows students who already have some knowledge of the language to skip chapters and go directly to the lessons they are interested in.


Permission granted to www.wolofi.com by Peace Corps, Washington.



The alphabet used in this book is based on the official one adopted by the Senegalese Government. The Wolof alphabet is used by the 'Bureau de l'Alphabétisation'. The following table is a list of correspondences with the English and French sounds. 







Voyelles courtes / Short vowels click
Voyelles longues / Long vowels click
  Consonnes / Consonants click








 Section 1  Greetings click
 Section 2  Dialogue ci kër gë click
   Dialogue ci àll bi
 Section 3  Grammar
 Subject Pronouns & Presentative
 Word Order in Question Formation
 Completion Marker -në
 The Particle -u
 Possessive suma/sama and sa
 Section 4  Questions
 Section 5  Games and Proverbs
 Section 6  Written Exercises
   Vocabulary for Chapter I





 Section 1  Greetings
     Leave Taking
     Use of Short Forms in Questions
     Negative (It's not)
     Special Vocabulary for Rural Focus
   Cultural Notes
     Etiquette on Meeting and Greeting People
     List of Senegalese Family Names
     List of Senegalese Male First Names
     List of Senegalese Female First Names
Section 2  Dialogue Ñungi dem Ndakaaru
     Dialogue Daje-nëñu ci yoon-u tool yi
Section 3  Grammar
     Independent Subject Pronouns
     Present Tense With mangi
     Completion Marker nëñu
     Negation -u
     The Complement and Object Predicator -lë
     Possessive seen
Section 4  Questions
Section 5  Proverbs and Sayings
   Written Exercises
   Vocabulary for Chapter II





 Section 1  Eating
     Inviting Someone To Eat
     Vocabulary for 'around the bowl'
     Eating Terms
     Cooking Terms
     Special Vocabulary for Rural Focus
   Cultural Notes
     Etiquette on Eating
     Inviting and Being Invited
     Around the Bowl
Section 2  Dialogue ci benn are kaar rapid
     Dialogue ci boor-u tali bi
Section 3  Grammar
     Active vs. Stative Verbs
     Additional Present Tense with mangi
     With Marker -në
     Negative Constructions
     Emphasis on Object and the Particle
     Short Forms in Questions
     Articles in Wolof
     Indefinite Articles
     Definite Articles
Section 4  Questions
   Proverbs and Sayings
   Written Exercises
     Vocabulary for Chapter III





 Section 1  Directions
     Asking for and Giving Directions
     Direct Questions
     Indirect Questions
     Terms of Directions
     Counting Money
   Cultural Notes
     Asking for and Giving Directions and Orders
Section 2  Dialogue jënd piis
     Dialogue jënd yàpp
     Dialogue jënd jën
     Dialogue waxaale
     Dialogue ci butigu naar bi
Section 3  Grammar
     The verb am
     The particle di
     Object Pronouns
     Imperative with Object Pronouns
     Other Use of the Particle -al
     The Predicator -dafa with Stative Verbs
     Relative Pronouns
Section 4  Questions
Section 5  Proverbs and Sayings
Section 6  Written Exercises
     Vocabulary for Chapter IV





 Section 1  Action Verbs
     Asking and Telling the Time of Day
     Seasons of the Year
     Time in Wolof
   Cultural Notes
     Social Relationships and Termns of Kinship
Section 2  Dialogue seeti xarit ci Corps de la Paix
     Dialogue seeti sous-préfet bi
     Dialogue seeti médecin seef bi
Section 3  Grammar
     The Predicator -dafa with Active Verbs
     Explicative/ Special Stress on Verb
     Repetition (Habitual Present)
     Relative Clause Formation - Introduction
     Possessive Pronouns
     The Temporal Relative bu (su)
Section 4  Questions
Section 5  Proverbs and Sayings
Section 6  Written Exercises
     Vocabulary for Chapter V





 Section 1  Professions
     Wolof names of towns and other foreign places
     Other ways of indicating profession
     Some work related terms
   Cultural Notes
     Tom Wàccbees
     Coumba Barepexe
     Questions on Special Text - Tom
     Questions on Special Text - Coumba
Section 2  Dialogue agsi-nënu Corps de la Paix
     Dialogue ci ginnaaw préfecture
Section 3  Grammar
     Auxiliary verbs war and mën
     Relative clause formation (continued)
Section 4  Questions
Section 5  Proverbs and Sayings
Sections 6  Written Exercises
     Vocabulary for Chapter VI





 Section 1  Health
     Expressing a State of Health
     Vocabulary on Health and Disease
     Vocabulary for Nutrition
     Review Questions
   Cultural Notes
     Privacy and being sick
     Visiting people who are ill
Section 2  Dialogue foo jànge wolof?
     Dialogue waxtaan ci amerik
Section 3  Grammar
     Subject Emphasis
Section 4  Questions
Section 5  Proverbs and Sayings
Sections 6  Written Exercises
     Vocabulary for Chapter VII





 Section 1  Expressing the Past
     Optional Lessons
     Lesson on Health
     Lesson on Agriculture
   Cultural Notes
     The Muslim Religion
Section 2  Dialogue baayil dox
     Dialogue demoon benn ngénté
Section 3  Grammar
     The Past Marker -woon
     Different constructions with the Marker -woon
Section 4  Questions
Section 5  Proverbs and Sayings
Section 6  Written Exercises
     Vocabulary for Chapter VIII





 Section 1  Describing People
     Describing Someone or Something
     Expressing Differences
     Special Vocabulary for Rural Focus
     Lesson on Health
     Lesson on Agriculture
   Cultural Notes
     Superstition and Beliefs
Section 2  Dialogue ñungi tàggoo
     Dialogue angi taggook
Section 3  Grammar
     Expressing the Future
Section 4  Questions
Section 5  Proverbs and Sayings
Section 6  Written Exercises
     Vocabulary for Chapter IX





 Section 1  Expressing 'don't' = bul
     Special Lesson on Health
     Special Lesson on Agriculture
   Cultural Notes
     Religious Holidays
Section 2  Dialogue jëndi suukër ag wargë
Section 3  Grammar
     Negative Imperative
     Imperative with Pronouns
     Negative Future
     Minimal Verbal Construction & Verbs of Communication
Section 4  Questions
Section 5  Proverbs and Sayings
Section 6  Written Exercises





 Section 1  Past Tense doon
     The Particle daan
     Expressing TO BE in the Past
     Negative of daan
     Special Expressions for Rural Focus
     Special Lesson on Health 
     Special Lesson on Agriculture
     Special Vocubulary on Nutrition and the Child
   Cultural Notes
     Life Cycle
Section 2  Dialogue àttaya di waxtaan
   Dialogue Daan def bi mu nekkee amerik
Section 3  Grammar
     The Temporal bi or ba
     Past Time with -doon
     Past habitual -daan
     Negative doon
     Expressing NO LONGER and NO MORE
     Expressing NOT YET
     Contraction of the Predicator dafa-y
Section 4  Questions
Section 5  Proverbs and Sayings
Saying 6  Written Exercises
     Vocabulary for Chapter XI





 Section 1  Expressing LET ME (ALLOW ME)
     Supplementary Vocabulary
     At the Tailor's
     Pregnancy, Nursing and Infants
   Special Lesson on Health
     The Road to Health
     Diarrhoea & Dehydration
Section 2  Dialogue seeti tajoor bi
     Dialogue ngëntë
     Vocabulary for Chapter XII

(to be continued / à suivre)



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