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Useful phrases in Wolof

A collection of useful phrases in Wolof, a Niger-Congo language spoken mainly in Senegal.

Click on any of the phrases that are links (blue) to hear them spoken. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

To see these phrases in many other languages click on the English versions. If you'd like to see these phrases in any combination of two languages, try the Phrase Finder.

Key to abbreviations: sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).

English Wolof
Welcome Merhbe
Hello (General greeting) Na nga def (sg)
Na ngeen def (pl)
Salaam aleekum
How are you? Jaam nga am? (Have you peace?)
Na nga def?
Reply to 'How are you?' Jaam rek, Yow nag? (Peace only, and you?)
Mangi fi rekk, na nga def?
Long time no see Gej na la giis
What's your name? Naka-nga sant?
Na nga tudd?
Noo tudd?
My name is ... Maa ngi tudd ...
... laa tudd
Where are you from? Fan nga joge? (sg)
Fan ngeen joge? (pl)
I'm from ... Maa ngi joge ...
... laa joge
Pleased to meet you  
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Jaam nga fanane
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Jamm nga yendoo
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Naka ngon si
(Parting phrases)
Ba beneen
Mangi dem
Good luck!  
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Have a nice day  
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Do you understand? Dégg nga?
I understand Dégg naa
I don't understand Dégguma
I don't know  
Please speak more slowly Ndax mën nga wax ndànk su la neexee?
Please say that again Ndax mën nga ko waxaat su la neexee?
Please write it down Ndax mën nga ko bind su la neexee?
Do you speak English? Ndax dégg nga angale?
Do you speak Wolof? Deg nga Wolof?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Wau, degg naa tuuti Wolof
How do you say ... in Wolof?  
Excuse me Baal ma!
How much is this? Ñaata lay jar?
Sorry Baal ma
Please La neexee
Thank you Jai-rruh-jef
Reply to thank you Agsil (sg)
Agsileen ak jaam (pl)
Where's the toilet? Ana wanaag wi?
This gentleman will pay for everything  
This lady will pay for everything  
Would you like to dance with me? Buga nga fecc?
I miss you Namm naa la
I love you Begg naa la (general)
Sopp naa la (I admire you - when courting)
Nopp naa la (between partners)
Get well soon  
Go away! Deemal!
Deemal waay!
Leave me alone! Bayyi ma!
May ma jaam!
Help! Wóoy!
Stop! Taxawal!
Call the police! Wooyal ma alkaati!
Christmas and New Year greetings  
Easter greetings  
Birthday greetings  
One language is never enough  
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
Sama aéroglisseur fèèss neu ak anguilles'

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