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Learn Wollof: Days of the Week

My Magazine 2023/05
3 min
If you're planning a trip to Gambia or other West African countries where Wolof is spoken, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some basic phrases in the local language. One of the most important things to know is how to say the days of the week, which will come in handy when scheduling activities or making travel arrangements.

Here's a brief guide to the Wolof words for each day:

ALTINEH - MONDAY

TALATA - TUESDAY

ALARRBA - WEDNESDAY

ALHAMIS - THURSDAY

JUMA/ALJUMA - FRIDAY

SAMDI - SATURDAY

DIMANCHE - SUNDAY

As you can see, the Wolof words for the days of the week are similar to those in Arabic, which reflects the influence of Islamic culture in the region. It's worth noting that Wolof is a tonal language, which means that the pitch of a word can change its meaning. In the case of the days of the week, however, the pitch is not particularly important, so don't worry too much about getting it exactly right.

Here are some pointers from the video above:

DEMBA LA BAN BESS? - YESTERDAY WAS WHAT DAY?

TEYY LA BAN BESS? - TODAY IS WHAT DAY?

ELEK BAN BESS LA? - TOMORROW IS WHAT DAY?

SUBA - MORNING

NGON - EVENING

BECHEK - AFTERNOON

GUDI - NIGHT

Learning some basic Wolof phrases is a great way to show respect for the local culture and connect with the people you meet on your travels. Even if you only remember a few words, your efforts will be appreciated and can help you to navigate daily life more easily. So whether you're planning to explore Gambia's vibrant cities, relax on its beautiful beaches, or go on a trip in its national parks, take some time to learn the Wolof words for the days of the week and other useful phrases. You'll be glad you did!

Don't forget to check out our other Wollof lessons from previous magazine issues!

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