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Wolof is the native language of the Wolof people and has become Senegal’s lingua franca, spoken by more than 90% of the Senegalese population as either a first or second language. Wolof is also spoken in other West Africa countries, such as The Gambia and Mauritania. The language has a rich literary tradition in both Arabic and Roman scripts, as well as a thriving oral tradition. Knowledge of Wolof is important to work in government, international non-governmental organizations, and international businesses.   

By studying Wolof at UW-Madison, you will enjoy the advantages of studying in a small group led by a dedicated instructor. including connections with many faculty members conducting research in and about Africa, from fields throughout the humanities, arts, sciences, and education. 

Majors & Certificates 

African Languages & Literatures Major, African Studies Certificate; visit the Majors & Certificates page for more information.


Toni Landis,

Katrina Daly Thompson,

Language Conversation Table 

Tuesdays from 10:50-11:50 in Liz's Market, the cafeteria in Elizabeth Waters Hall.

Study Abroad 

You can study Wolof in Senegal; contact International Academic Programs for more information.

Student Organizations 

Students of African Languages & Literature; browse the Wisconsin Involvement Network for more information.


Consider an internship where you can use Wolof, either in the US or abroad. An internship in any field can complement your language study and can provide valuable professional experience.

First-Year Interest Group (FIG) with Wolof
Hip Hop, Youth Culture, and Politics in Senegal