https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Demonym281

Wolof course?

I thought I should add this to the list of requested languages for the incubator.

Wolof is the main native language of Senegal & The Gambia, so I guess more than 10 million people probably speak it? Famous speakers would include Youssou N'Dour, Akon, a bunch of Premier League & Ligue 1 footballers, and some NBA or college basketball guys...also, maybe, the 19th century poet Phillis Wheatley (look her up!)

Wolof seems like a good mixture of having some unusual & fiendish language rules, by European standards - there are countless different pronouns that all depend on time and circumstances - and being mercifully simple in some other ways; verb stems are always just stems that can't be conjugated, and there are no genders in the grammar (to the point where he, she and it are covered by one word). It's not tonal, either.

It also tends to be written in the Latin script these days, but you can also learn Wolofal if you like, which is a variation on Arabic script that a lot of speakers apparently prefer to use in daily life. Either way, the course could certainly be written with the same letters I'm using here.

Obviously African languages are about to get their first representation on Duolingo, with the Swahili course coming next month hopefully, but I hope there will be more in the future. Why Wolof? Well, Senegalese culture seems like one of the most famous in West Africa - their musical and sporting achievements always made me think it must be a bigger country - and sadly, the already-grim situation in The Gambia (which makes that country very heavily over-represented in the numbers of refugees attempting to reach Europe) looks like it may get worse if their President keeps refusing to step down after the recent election; thus it may become more important in future for NGOs to hire speakers of Wolof.

Other than that, Wiki makes the surprising claim that the word 'banana,' which must be one of the most frequent loanwords on the planet, may originally come from Wolof. Gotta respect that.

December 30, 2016

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kadmos_Thebes

Africa... YES.

January 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fatoumata300241

If Duolingo came out with a wolof course I'm sure many people would start learning me being one of the first! There's such a demand but no real place that has all the basics in one spot, that motivates and tracks progress, and that's free too

August 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillaume2592

Wolof is the african language I look most for, so hard to find ressources for it !

February 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimnicholson

You could ask the mods if it can be added to the list: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1501419

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Demonym281

thanks although link doesn't work for me rn :(

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimnicholson

Ah, I made an error while pasting it. Try:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15014194

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

Thanks - the request for Wolof has been added to the [GUIDE]

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EZesperanto

It's #332 on my INCREDIBLY LONG language list and it sounds interesting! I first heard of it when my social studies teacher mentioned it in a test question. (We're studying african cultures)

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizsue

Also, a French for Wolof speakers course on Duolingo should have a Skill (whether a Bonus Skill or one in the regular course) for some words that get high scores in Francophone Scrabble. These links have more information:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7516920.stm

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2008/07/28/senegalese_score_big_in_scrabble.html

http://www.au-senegal.com/scrabble-le-senegal-champion-du-monde,12986.html?lang=fr

:)

January 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mghila

I wish they add wolof I like speaking with my Senegalese friends ;) And about the word banana it is from Arabic بنان الموز search fot it ;)

January 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArientGreat

I agree, I want to ask for wolof too

May 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tayapijimirri
December 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/goddessekati

I would love to learn Wolof.

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/radgedyann

Yes! Please!

September 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christine119308

Agreed! I will be joining the Peace Corps next year in Senegal and would love to get a start on learning Wolof using Duolingo.

March 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizsue

Maybe the U.S. Peace Corps partnership with Duolingo would be interested? http://technical.ly/dc/2016/06/03/peace-corps-duolingo-language-courses/ has more on that. :)

There's more info about the Peace Corps and Senegalese languages at https://peacecorpssenegal.org/language-cultural/. :)

I don't know if they'd rather start with Wolof for English speakers, Wolof for French speakers (the way they first added Guarani to Duolingo with Guarani for Spanish speakers), or a course for Wolof speakers.

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Demonym281

I love those links! That's so interesting about the reasons behind the partnership - I had always wondered how Ukrainian got a course from English on here so early.

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizsue

:)

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnghelValente

Wolof seems cool, I wanna learn it.

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryanaissance

Back in the early 2000s in French class I heard a musical group called Daara J. Been a fan ever since, and would love to learn enough to understand the wolof parts.

December 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DimbaJayju

the word honky also comes from the wolof honk nop meaning red ear. just check out a white ear with the sun behind it. i är ex peace corps wolof user.

May 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DimbaJayju

which wolof ? Dakar wolof or Saloum Saloum the purest form of wolof? Even educated speakers of Dakar wolof need an interpreter when speaking to a village up the Saloum river.

May 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dioidioi

Would love to see Wolof course!

June 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZohreB

Wolof is available on uTalk.

July 20, 2019
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