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Languages at UW-Madison


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 

Wolof table, Tuesdays 4:15-5:15pm, Gordon Commons, 2nd Floor by conference room 

Study Abroad 

You can study Wolof in Senegal; Visit the International Academic Programs Majors Advising Page to learn more.

Student Organizations 

African Cultural Studies Student Association; 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: Coming Fall 2019
HipHop, Youth Culture, and Politics in Senegal