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.
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
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)
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 ;)
thanks although link doesn't work for me rn :(
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:
Wolof is the african language I look most for, so hard to find ressources for it !
Agreed! I will be joining the Peace Corps next year in Senegal and would love to get a start on learning Wolof using Duolingo.
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.
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.
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.
My daughter spent some time in Dakar, and really enjoyed her studies in both French and Wolof.