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  • Currently in Yoff, Senegal

Sustainable Development in Senegalese Ecovillages!


Mini Introduction to Wolof, as well as Orientation to Senegalese Politics

Senegal Yoff, Senegal  |  Jan 15, 2009
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Nanga def? - How are you?

Mangi fii rek. - I`m fine.


Many thanks to Living Routes/GENSEN, Maman, Mama Aiita, Pape Mamadou Samb, Marcel, Fatou C., Thier (pronounced "Chair"; yes, really), El Hadji, Pape Babacar Samb, and many others for their short and helpful lessons, their spontaneous laughter, and their patience with my halting and pathetic pronunciations, bad hearing, and bad memory! I have learned and lost so much, like grasping at water, and if I can remember even a small portion of what I`ve learned here, I will be immensely joyous. This is my attempt at such retention, and perhaps if this format gets me to help others with vocalization of these phrases, the constant repetition will help me to remember these tidbits forever. Finally, these might seem a strang assortment of phrases, but this is mostly due to the fact that when people ask me what I`d like to learn, what I`d like to be able to say, what I want to know, I draw a blank, and can`t think up a starting point. Thank goodness (or "Thanks be to God!"/"Alhamdoulilahi" - heh) that the lovely people mentioned above have worked with me and offered me gems of their lovely language anyway.


What`s your name? - No todou?

I miss you - Nama nala. (Pronounced almost as "Namba nala")

I miss you, too - Mala raw. (Pronounced almost as if Portuguese)

I`m going to miss you - Di nala nama. (I just realized I`ve been saying this completely wrong as "Di namba nala" - woops!)

Me, too - Manta mit

I`m tired - Sona nàa (I couldn`t find the other accent mark on this French "clavier")

You`re my friend. - Sama harit nga. (I REALLY like this one!)

You`re welcome. - Noko bok. (The "n" pronounced almost as if with a tilde; bok meaning "you are")

I need to sleep. - Deman bug nelaw. ("Aw" pronounced as "o")

What are your wives` names? - Sa djebar nomou todou?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. - Ben. Nyar. Nyet. Nyent. Djouron. (I love how this sounds a bit like Russian!)

How is your morning? - Naka su bese?

How is your evening? - Naka ngonsi?

You are so clever. - Dgenga mous.

I`m tired? - Dema son.

You`re tired - Danga son!

Come eat. - Kai lek.

Come here right now. - Kai legui.


Nyaw = Ugly

Dimbalema = Please (give me a cup of water - johma casundaw)

Baye = Father

Yaye = Mother

Jiguen = Female/Sister

Goor = Male/Brother

Rakh = Younger than me

Mak = Older than me

My name is not "toubab"! -Toudou-ma toubab.

Do not tell me/call me "toubab"! - Bourma wakh toubab!


That`s a good enough transition into an over-simplified political orientation:

Current President: Abdou Laye Wade

Current Prime Minister: Hadji Bou Soumaré

Current President of the Congress: Mamadou Seck

Current President of the Senate: Pape Diop

Old Prime Minister (who went on to be the President of the Congress, in which he was impeached): Macky Samb

Old Prime Minister (before Macky; corrupt, accused of embezzling and thrown out of office): Idrissa Seck

Head of the Family Ministry (accused of involvement in the "disappearance" -heh- of 76 mil. CFA; it was all over the paper on January 10th on our way back from Lac Rose!): Awa Ndiaye

Macky Samb left and set up his own party, "Yakar," which means "hopes."

Idrissa Seck also left and set up his own party, "Rewma," "the State."



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