Useful phrases in Wolof

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

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See these phrases in any combination of two languages in the Phrase Finder. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

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 Am nàa mbekte ci guiss la
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! Màa ngui lay nianal weurseuk
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Wer gu yaram!
Have a nice day Yendu ak jàam
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Naci jàam bari
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Yônu jàam
Do you understand? Dégg nga?
I understand Dégg naa
I don't understand Dégguma
I don't know Xamu mako
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? Naka lanuy waxee lii ci 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 / bathroom? Ana wanaag wi?
This gentleman will pay for everything Góor gu bàax bi dina fay lepp
This lady will pay for everything Jigéen gui dina fay lépp
Would you like to dance with me? Buga nga fecc?
Ndax beugue nga fecc ak man?
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 Tanéel ak jáam
Go away! Deemal!
Deemal waay!
Leave me alone! Bayyi ma!
May ma jaam!
Help! Wóoy!
Fire! Táal!
Stop! Taxawal!
Call the police! Wooyal ma alkaati!
Christmas greetings Mangui lay ndioukeul ci Noël bi
New Year greetings Mangui lay ndokkel ci att bu bess bi
Easter greetings Mangui lay ndokkel ci pâques bi
Birthday greetings Mangui lay ndokkel ci sa bess bu délu si bi
One language is never enough  
My hovercraft is full of eels Sama aéroglisseur fèèss neu ak anguilles'

Recordings and some translations by LaPolyglotte

Download the audio files

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

Information about Wolof | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Other collections of Wolof phrases

Phrases in Senegambian languages

Fula, Wolof

Phrases in other languages


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