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The Dialects of Wollof

My Magazine 2022/04
1 min
Wollof is the third largest ethnic group in the Gambia forming 14.8% of the population according to the 2013 population census. It is one of the most spoken languages in the Greater Banjul area. Wollof's language is uncomplicated to speak, and it is most commonly spoken in offices and public places.

Wollof is divided into three dialects: standard Wollof, Saloum-Saloum, and Faana-Faana.

Source: Wikipedia

 

Standard Wollof

The standard Wollof is the Wollof spoken in the Greater Banjul Area, although it is not a pure Wollof. People who speak it blend it with English and French words or phrases to communicate. It is often called the Banjul-Banjul Wollof, which only people living in the city speak.

Saloum-Saloum

This dialect is found in the Central River Region in the Saloum district, spoken in the areas like Kaur, Panchang and Balangarr.

Faana-Faanna

Faana-Faana is another form of dialect in Wollof. They share almost everything in common with the Saloum-Saloum Wollof, except that they attach a "deeper", archaic accent to their dialect. Their name Faana-Faana is a result of the way they speak because they always attached the syllable "faa" before their sentences. Faana-Faana’s are seen in Kerr Mamut Fana, Patéh Niamina and Kerr Biram in the Central River Region.

Although there are differences in pronunciation, usage of words and accents, all these dialects can easily communicate with each other without much difficulty. Wollofs mainly live in the Greater Banjul Area, Saloum, Central Badibu and Niani of the North Bank Region. They are also present in other areas but only in smaller numbers.

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