Miscellaneous Articles relating to the Wolof Language

A variety of articles on the Wolof language can be found on the internet. In some of these the Wolof language is only used to illustrate some point. Others are more specific. Some are quite technical.

According to the Senegalese constitution, Wolof is one of 6 national languages, and political parties are prohibited from identifying themselves according to ethnicity or language.

The dominance of the Wolof language in Senegal was well shown in a research paper on the transmission of languages within a family.

Some believe that there are words in English derived from Wolof. For instance Wikipedia claims that the word "banana" is borrowed from the Wolof language, and one of the theories for the origin of the word "OK" is from Wolof. Urban dictionary also proposes some English words derived from Wolof. The KryssTal website language section claims three English words come from Wolof. African Languages and Ebonics by Dr. Katherine Harris of Central Connecticut State University gives other examples. This is a fairly long articles with much that is of little relevance to the Wolof language. So I suggest that you use the "Find (on this page)" feature of your browser, which is found under the edit menu in Internet Explorer. Look for the word "Wolof" (without the quotation marks).

Accent is obviously very important for people learning second languages. Accents are explained at the speech accent archive including samples of English spoken by five native Wolof speakers. Speaker 1. Speaker 2. Speaker 3. Speaker 4. Speaker 5. (Alternative pages Speaker 1. Speaker 2)

The language of Wolof kings is used to illustrate a point in the article "Look at All Those Nouns in a Row"--Authoritarianism, Democracy and the Iconicity of Political Russian

Elimane Abdoulaye Kane has researched the number systems of languages in Senegal for his PhD, and this is reviewed in African Mathematical Union newsletter. Scroll down to 5.3. The Newsletter is also available as a .pdf download.

Monovalency and the status of RTR is a technical linguistics paper which includes an extensive discussion on Wolof. The full paper is available as a .pdf download.


UCLA have started a language materials project with a database of learning resources for less commonly taught languages which includes Wolof.

The University of Michigan also have a number of searchable databases searched by language including a language resource people database, a language materials database and a language schools database.

The African Language Resource Council (ALRC) at the University of Pennsylvania is also seeking to develop resources for the study of African languages including Wolof.

The National African Language Research Centre has identified a number of needs for Wolof language resources.

Legal Language services (U.S.A), Associated Translators and Linguists (Australia), Intertext (Germany), Language Line Services (USA) and A.L.S. International (USA) provide translation and interpreting services in Wolof.

The Linguistic Research Lab of Ottowa Univeristy in Canada have done work in Wolof/French.