Wolof is a member of the West Atlantic group of languages and was originally only spoken in the Senegambia area. However, following extensive cross-immigration between Senegal and Mauritania, the language has gained additional speakers. Additionally, the traditional Bana-Bana trade between Senegal and Mali has spurred a notable increase of Wolof speakers within the Malian population.

Spoken by more than ninety percent of Senegal's population, Wolof is Senegal's first national language among six others. This dominance is a result of the Wolof community's closer proximity to the colonial administration, which was mostly settled in big cities, in relation to other communities. Thus, it was a necessity for other ethnic groups to speak Wolof after migrating to towns such as Dakar, where Wolof is the primary language of communication.

Today, the number of Wolof speakers in West Africa is estimated at eight million. Previously, like most African languages, Wolof was first essentially oral. In the past, Senegalese scholars of Arabic used the Arabic alphabet in attempt to provide Wolof a written status. It was only in 1975 that the Senegalese administration adopted the Latin alphabet to write Wolof.

Source: African Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania



  • WOLF 0100 Elementary Wolof I
  • WOLF 0200 Elementary Wolof II
  • WOLF 0300 Intermediate Wolof I
  • WOLF 0400 Intermediate Wolof II
  • WOLF 1100 Advanced Wolof I
  • WOLF 1200 Advanced Wolof II

View course descriptions.


Mbacke Thioune