Let's Speak Wolof

Why Wolof

Wolof is a West African language spoken mainly in Senegal, Gambia and southern Mauritania. The language has influenced the societies and economies of West Africans, and it has emerged through trade as a lingua franca also used in parts of Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Mali. Wolof is known internationally through the popular work of acclaimed musicians and filmmakers. There are over 10 million speakers of Wolof in West Africa, France, the U.S., and other parts of the world.

Studying Wolof at the University of Kansas prepares you for careers in developmental practices, humanitarian services, language learning and education, translation and interpretation, travel, business or diplomatic career in Africa.


The African and African American Studies Department at the University of Kansas offers five level courses in Wolof. The first year introduces learners to the geography of the Wolof speaking area, society, and culture with an emphasis on some essential elements of Wolof linguistic and communicational competences. This course is especially appropriate for students planning to travel to Senegal. Learners at this level are exposed to more developed Wolof language structures (aiming the acquisition of higher linguistic, lexical, aural, and oral skills) through a progressive and practical study of cultural and literary themes. The intermediate level focuses on culturally contextualizing Wolof grammatical and communicative skills, hence the course's emphasis on advanced Wolof speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

For more information about our Wolof course offerings, and our African and African Diasporic Language Minor see the AAAS Wolof Language Flyer (.pdf)