5. Wirgo yi – Colors: How To Say Colors in Wolof

Welcome to the fifth Wolof Class: Wirgo yi – Colors. Yesterday, I taught you how to talk about food and drinks in Wolof. Today, we are going to talk about something we don’t really talk about in Senegal in Wolof: wirgo yi (colors). Although the celebrations are five days in, the show must go on! In all the time I have been in Senegal or heard Wolof, I have only heard three colors. I think mostly because we use French words for most colors. However, black, ñuul, white, weex, and red, xonq are the colors you do hear most in Wolof. Before we get into the subject: don’t forget to join the SeneGambia Vibes Club on ClubHouse where we do a Wolof class each Saturday! Until Saturday, I will be posting a Wolof class on YouTube. The video will contain a dialogue about the subject of that class and then we will dissect it. I will also share additional information on my Instagram and a downloadable syllabus in each blog for the class! – Let’s get into the fifth class: Wirgo yi – Colors.

Colors in Senegal

In Senegal, we do not necessarily talk about colors in Wolof. I think that majority of the people may only know the French words for certain colors. Also, I cannot even remember someone ever mentioning the word wirgo to talk about colors. I rather have heard people talk about couleurs yi, which is French for colors. Also, when someone showed me this graph with the colors and the Wolof words for it a couple of years ago, I screenshotted it and kept it just in case I would need it. Never would I have thought I would actually do something like this with that information. Other than that, it is so, so interesting because the Wolof word for yellow, mboq is the same word for corn. And yes, corn is of course also yellow! Definitely check the syllabus for a lot more different colors and how you say them in Wolof.

Wirgo yi – Colors

Now that we know the colors mboq, weex, xonq, and ñuul, let’s use them in a sentence! If you want to describe the color of something, you add bu. For example, sa yéré bu ñuul, your black clothing. You can replace yéré with anything you want to describe, a house, a pen a book etc. and you can replace ñuul with any other color. Something I find interesting is to describe the blackness of something. For example sa ñuulaaye dafa rafet is often used to compliment people on the darkness of their skin. The complete sentence translates to: your blackness is beautiful.

If you want to learn more about Wirgo yi – Colors, definitely watch today’s video class below. If you have any questions, definitely reach out to me on Instagram and I will answer your questions :).

Don’t forget to download the syllabus for Wirgo yi – Colors for even more insights! I specifically created it for this class. The idea was to only share a one-page stencil or worksheet. However, I was so consumed by creating this syllabus and this is the result! If you find it hard to listen to Wolof, definitely read the dialogue between me and Nafissa while watching my video. Enjoy and Ba suba, In Sha Allah.

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2 Replies to “5. Wirgo yi – Colors: How To Say Colors in Wolof”

  1. Geoff Schur says: Reply

    Thrilled that you are doing this.
    I don’t have time right now but I will be saving these and working at it later.
    Of course what I really want is to be able to understand all the mbalax lyrics I have been listening to for the last 35 years.
    (I usually ask random people I meet from Senegal for help).

    1. I’m glad you like it! Yeah, definitely take your time, I won’t be deleting any of these classes. I also have a playlist on YouTube for the video’s. If you have any questions, definitely come back to ask, I’ll be happy to help! Hahaha, yeah, it is so nice to understand the lyrics to mbalax songs .

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