Which language is spoken in Senegal?
In Senegal Wolof is spoken

The Wolof Language

Wolof in Senegal

The Wolof language is spoken by the Wolof people, who comprise 40% of the population of Senegal.
The language is also spoken by Wolof communities in Gambia and Mauritania.

Wolof belongs to the Niger-Congo language family

The Wolof language belongs to the Niger-Congo language family, which also includes Swahili, Zulu and Lingala.
The last two languages belong to the Bantu subgroup of languages.
The Niger-Congo language family includes over 1400 languages, which are divided into several different dialects.
It is the largest language family in the world.
About 45% of Africans speak one of the Niger-Congo languages, which account for about a quarter of all the languages in the world.
Some of these languages are interlanguages, ie they are not only spoken by native speakers but also by many other people as a second language.
Wolof is a business and interlanguage in Senegal and is also spoken in areas of Gambia and Mauritania.

Wolof in Senegal, Mauritania and Gambia
  • In Senegal 80% of the population speak Wolof.
  • In Gambia 15% of the population speak Wolof, but in Banjul the capital of Gambia about half the people speak Wolof.
  • In Mauritania Wolof is spoken in the southern regions of the country.
    About 7% of the population speaks Wolof.

Which script does Wolof use?

Today Wolof is written with the Roman alphabet, which is a legacy of French colonial rule.
In the 11th Century with the rise of Islam Wolof was then written in Arabic script.
A lot of poetry and religious texts are in Arabic.
The official language of Senegal is French, but Wolof is often used as an interlanguage.

Learn your first words of Wolof

Here we would like to introduce to you your first words in the Wolof language:

listen to hello in Wolof Salaamaalekum! Hello!
listen to goodbye in Wolof Ba beneen yoon! Bye!
listen to yes in Wolof waaw yes
listen to no in Wolof déedéet no

Do you enjoy learning Wolof?

Then why not learn some more:

You would like to learn Wolof?
We are delighted about your interest in Wolof.
We are pleased to show you some links where you can obtain more information about this language.