Wolof is used by over 5 million people in Senegal, the Gambia, and Mauritania. It is a language in the Senegambian sub-section of the Niger-Congo language family. Historically, Wolof was written using Arabic script, but the language is now written and taught using the Roman alphabet.

Wolof is key for communication in West Africa and serves as the lingua franca in Senegal. It also plays an important role for Senegalese culture around the world. World recognized Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour extensively uses Wolof in his music and famed filmmaker Ousmane Sembène also produces in the Wolof language. You may also be familiar with Akon, another famous Wolof speaker.


African 391: First Semester, A Language of West Africa – Wolof (fall only)
African 392: Second Semester, A Language of West Africa – Wolof (spring only)
We may offer third and fourth semesters if there is interest.

If you have prior experience with Wolof, please contact Andrew Bartsch (apbartsch@wisc.edu) for enrollment guidance.

A woman teaching students in a Senegalese classroom

Student Projects

Check out Student Projects completed by our past Wolof students!

Featured Project: Welcome to my University

Featured Project: Meeri’s Surprise

Campus Opportunities

Weekly Conversation Tables

Make sure to check our calendar for Language Tables each semester!

Members of the public are welcome. Please check with Katrina Daly Thompson for updates.