Wolof Online Course

This is a course in the Wolof language. The basis of the course is a set of videos involving conversations between native speakers of Wolof. Though some of the situations are somewhat contrived, the speech is natural and provides a good model for pronouncing Wolof sounds, imitating Wolof intonation patterns, using Wolof grammatical structures, and learning Wolof words for everyday objects and actions. In addition, certain features of Wolof culture come out in the situations.

The course currently consists of five Chapters, each of which concentrates on certain language functions. The chapters are divided into several Lessons, each of which corresponds to specific video segments and provides explanations and practice for the main aspects of Wolof that come out in the video. The lessons are posted as PDF files.

Course Navigation:

Wolof Online Course: Front Page

Chapter 1: Sounds and Greetings

Chapter 2: Identifying People and Things

Chapter 3: ‘have’ and Perfective Sentences

Chapter 4: Numbers and Counting

Chapter 5: Describing People and Things 

Supplementary lessons

Listening practice

Transcripts of all videos

Vocabulary for all lessons

Funding and Personnel

This video preparation was funded by a mini-grant from the National African Language Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Antonia Folarin Schleicher, Director. The lesson preparation was funded by a grant from the United States Department of Education under the Title VI International Research and Studies program (award PO17A050045, Russell G. Schuh, Principal Investigator).

Lesson conception and writing: Mariame Sy
Harold Torrence
Videography and web design: Russell G. Schuh
Other personnel: Dieynaba Gaye
Moustapha Sène
Nourayni Sy
Hélène Seynabou Mbaye
Ajaratou Fatou Ly

The Wolof Course as an “Open Source” Site

We hope the materials on this site will be useful for English speakers who want to learn Wolof. In no sense, however, is the course a finished piece of work. Not all the lessons are fully developed, not all the videos are fully transcribed and translated, and one can easily think of many more exercises, activities, recordings, etc. that could be added.

We encourage users to send comments and ESPECIALLY! for users to contribute to the site. In addition to corrections, we welcome additions. These could include additional exercises to go with the videos, texts that could be useful to learners of Wolof (especially useful would be texts with translations and graphics), graphics that could be useful for learning the language, and audio and even video files that could be useful to learners (though, understandably, there are limits to the size of such files that we could accommodate). Links to other sites that could be useful for learning Wolof would also be welcome.

Comments and contributions may be sent via the contact form on this page. We reserve the right to accept or reject contributions and to edit as seems appropriate for the site. Any substantial edits would be submitted to the contributors before posting. Contributors of substantial postings will be credited.

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