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Interactive Saafi-Saafi

This page is under construction. We thank you for your patience.

This free interactive language course is designed to help you learn the basics of Saafi-Saafi. It is not a comprehensive self-study online course, but merely designed to help you learn the basics of this language. Lookout for our comprehensive self-study material: Learn to speak Saafi – which comes with a textbook and CD to help with pronunciation. The book covers various situations from going to the market to asking and giving directions on the street. 


The use of the Latin alphabet to write this language is a recent phenomenon. There is therefore some discourse among certain Saafi linguists about adding to or modifying the Saafi-Saafi alphabet (see Lesson 1 : Saafi-Saafi alphabet). 


Each Saafi word or phrase highlighted in green is accompanied by an audio file to help with pronunciation. Click on the word or phrase highlighted in green to listen to the correct pronunciation. The audio will open in a new window which you can close after you have mastered the pronunciation of each word or phrase. There will be a test at the end of each lesson. See the lesson plan below for details.


Good luck!

Lesson plan

In this lesson, you will learn :


1. the Saafi-Saafi alphabet and how to pronounce certain Saafi-Saafi characters not found in English or French;


2. commonly used verbs and their conjugations;


3. how to ask questions using the 5 Ws and 1 H (who; what; when; where; why and how);


4. basic Saafi-Saafi personal pronouns;


5. basic Saafi-Saafi possessive pronouns;


6. how to greet people;


7. how to tell the time, name the seasons and  describe the weather;


8. the days of the week and months of the year;


9. the names of natural elements and the night sky;


10. how to form sentences when asked for places or directions;


11. the names of human body parts and how to form sentences using parts of the human body;


12. the names of family members


13. about words relating to life and the human senses;


14. about words relating to death and the afterlife;


15. a short dialogue between two people; and


16. how to count in Saafi, and will be familiar with Saafi ordinal numbers.


Test you knowledge and examples


Other than lesson 1 where you need to spend some time mastering the Saafi alphabet and the pronunciation of each character, each subsequent lesson comes with various examples of sentences or questions to help you improve your vocabulary. We have also devised a set of 5 multiple choice questions for each lesson so that you can test yourself. These tests will appear at the end of each lesson. There is no time limit but you will need to answer each question by clicking on the right answer. If you answer a question correctly, a new window will open telling you that you have answered the question correctly. If you click on the wrong answer, a new window will open telling you that is the wrong answer and you need to try again. Close the new window(s) at the end of each question so that you don’t have too many opened windows. If you are doing the tests on your mobile phone, you can always press the "back key" to continue where you left off. Grab a pen and paper before you start so that you can tally up how many questions out of 80 you have answered correctly on your first attempt and to note down which lesson(s) you need to spend a little bit more time on. Remember that you can always repeat or resume the whole course or individual lessons at your leisure. 

Good luck! Your time starts now.


Just kidding! Take as much time as you like.



7 facts about the Saafi-Saafi language


1. Saafi-Saafi language also called Seereer Saafeen or Saafen is spoken by the Saafi people


2. This language is mainly spoken in Senegal. Although there are small Saafi communities in the Gambia and possibly in Mauritania, this language is not widely spoken in these two countries. 

 

3. Saafi-Saafi is the principal Cangin language and one of the recognised local languages of Senegal (source: "DECRET n° 2005-989 du 21 octobre 2005" [in] Journal Officiel de la Republic du Sénégal, published: J.O. N° 6280 du SAMEDI 27 MAI 2006.


4. Saafi-Saafi has several dialects.


5. Saafi-Saafi is not a dialect of Seereer-Siin. Saafi-Saafi is closer to Sili-Sili, Noon and Laalaa


6. This language is written using the Latin alphabet. It is part of the Niger-Congo family and one of the Senegambian languages.


7. As of 2012, the total number of speakers are estimated to be 200,000 and rising (source: Ethnologue).


Learn to speak Saafi

Book with CD

This book comes with a CD to help with pronunciation, and you can learn in your own time and space. There will be a possibility to either buy the book with the CD or download them in PDF and MP3 from our online store.


This learning material will be more comprehensive, and covers situations like going shopping, going to the restaurant, engaging with locals on the streets and much more. You will also be given exercises to reinforce learning. 


Keep checking our website, Facebook and Twitter pages for new updates. 

1. The Saafi-Saafi alphabet = xxxxxxx

In accordance with  "DECRET n° 2005-989 du 21 octobre 2005" [in] Journal Officiel de la Republic du Sénégal, published: J.O. N° 6280 du SAMEDI 27 MAI 2006, there are 28 letters in the Saafi-Saafi alphabet. 23 of these are consonants, the remaining 5 are vowels. The use of the Latin alphabet to write this language is relatively recent. There is therefore some discourse among certain Saafi linguists concerning the addition or modification of some of these characters. The alphabet below is in accordance with  "DECRET n° 2005-989 du 21 octobre 2005", but as you progress towards the lessons, you will find new characters with their audio pronunciation. 


Some of the following Saafi characters are not found in English or French. We have devised a pronunciation guide accompanied by an audio to help with pronunciation. The pronunciation guide is for guidance only. Click on the relevant character to listen to the correct pronunciation. It is very important that you learn the alphabet so that you can pronounce words better. After all, you want to understand what people are saying and you want others to understand you, so don't skip this section. Master the alphabet before moving on to other sections. You can always come back to this page to continue where you left off.  


Upper case



Lower case


Pronunciation guide
Consonant = C

Vowel = V
Click on the letter to listen to the pronunciation
A
a
.
V
B
b
.
.
Ɓ
ɓ
This voiced bilabial implosive is not the typical B found in English or French, but a "B with a hook" (or "an open B"). Think of this character as between B and P - in other words the sound of bp. The b is not audible when spoken and is always preceded by an m as in the mb sound in the Seereer mask mbot pronounced mbort (the bort in mbort is pronounced the same way as bort in the English word abort). Now try saying the word mbo but as you are half way towards voicing the b in mbo, you replace the b with a p to give mbpo. It is that sound beween between b and p you are aiming for. 
ɓ
C
c
.
 
.
d
.
.
Ɗ
ɗ
Think of this character as between D and T. It represents and implosive d. Imagine the sound of da as in the English word darling. Now add the letter t to have dta. Try pronouncing that with the tip of your tongue. 
 
ɗ
E
e
.
.
F
f
.
C
G
 
.
H
h
 
I
i
 
V
 
J
j
 
 
K
k
 
 
L
l
 
 
M
m
.
.
N
n  
 
 
Ñ
ñ
Think of this character as between N and Y. For example the ny sound found in the Senegambian surname Nyang (Gambian English spelling) or Niang (Senegalese French spelling). Alternatively, the ny sound found in the English word canyon.
ñ
Ŋ
ŋ
Think of this character as between N and G. For example the ng sound found in the English word song or the Seereer female name Ngoneh (English spelling in Gambia) or Ngoné (French spelling in Senegal and Mauritania).
ŋ 
O
o
 
V
 
P
p
 
 
R
r
 
 
S
s
.
 
T
t
 
 
U
u
 
V
 
W
w
.
 
Y
y
This is a typical Y found in English.
C
.
Ƴ
ƴ
This is a "Y with a hook" ( ƴ ) and is not found in English or French. 
ƴ

ʔ

’ 
The upper case character looks like a question mark (?) but it is not your regular question mark if you look at it closely. The lower case character is not a coma ( , ) but an apostrophe ( ' ). This character should be regarded as a glottal stop, a sound you can achive by obstructing airflow in the glottis.
   ’ 
 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


The following multiple choice questions are for you to test your understanding of the Saafi alphabet. There is no time limit but try and answer each question by clicking the right answer. If you answer a question correctly, a new window will open telling you that you have answered the question correctly. If you click on the wrong answer, a new window will open telling you that is the wrong answer and you need to try again. Before you begin, grab a pen and paper so that you can tally up how many questions you have answered correctly on your first attempt on each question. At the end of the whole course, add up your correct answers and mark yourself out of 80. You can always repeat or resume the test in your own time. Read each question carefully before answering them. There is always one answer.



2. Verbs and conjugations 

To have = Raak

To be 

To eat = Ñyam

 

Present


I have


you have


he has


she has


It has


we have


you have


they have

.
 
 

Present continuous


I am having


you are having


he is having


she is having


it is having


we are having


you are having


they are having

 
 
 

Simple past


I had


you had


he had


she had


it had


we had


you had


they had

.
Click to edit table header
 
Present 

I am 

you are 

he is 

she is 

it is 

we are 

you are 

they are
 
 
 

Present continuous


I am being


you are being


he is being


she is being


it is being


we are being


you are being


they are being

 
 
 

Simple past


I was


you were


he was


she was


it was

we were


you were


they were

 
 

Present


I eat

you eat

he eats


she eats


it eats

we eat

you eat

they eat

 
 
.

Present continuous


I am eating

you are eating

he is eating


she is eating


it is eating

we are eating

you are eating

they are eating

.
.
 

Simple past


I ate

you ate

he ate


she ate


it ate

we ate

you ate

they ate

.

Examples


  • I have hair. = Raakid fin
  • I had some chere* with fish. = Xxxxxxx
  • He is having his dinner. = Xxxxxxx
  • We were having a telephone conversation. = Xxxxxxx

*Chere or chereh is Seereer dish similar to couscous but more versatile than couscous. It can be a savory dish served with with fish, chicken, meat and/or vegetables or it can be eaten like a breakfast cereal with milk and sugar.

Examples


  • Hello. I am Demba. And you are? = Xxxxxxx
  • I am going to the party with my friends. = Xxxxxxx
  • He is going to the dentist tomorrow. He has a tooth ache = Xxxxxxx
  • She was so kind to me on my last visit. = Xxxxxxx

Examples


  • He ate all the rice by himself. = Xxxxxxx
  • We are eating please come and join us. = Xxxxxxx
  • I am eating chere. Would you like some? = Xxxxxxx
  • I eat when I’m hungry. = Xxxxxxx
 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


The following multiple choice questions are designed to test your understanding of verb conjugations in Saafi. You will be told the correct English translation and are then expected to click on the correct Saafi sentence which corresponds to the English translation. Read each sentence carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

3. Questions: The 5 Ws and 1 H

 

Who = xxxxxxx

What = xxxxxxx

When = xxxxxxx

Where = xxxxxxx

Why = xxxxxxx

How = xxxxxxx 

Examples


Who

Who are you? = Xxxxxxx

Who did it? = Xxxxxxx

Who is it? = Xxxxxxx


What

What is it? = Xxxxxxx

What do you want? = Xxxxxxx

What are you doing? = Xxxxxxx

Good afternoon madam. Could you please tell me what time is the next bus to Bandia? = xxxxxxx

What would you like to drink? = xxxxxxx


When

When are you leaving? = Xxxxxxx

When will you be back? = Xxxxxxx

When is Jegaan coming back? He is a good boy. = Xxxxxxx

Good morning sir. When is the next ferry to Banjul? = Xxxxxxx

When is the next Xoy ceremony? = Xxxxxxx

Examples


Where

Where is Youssou N’Dour playing? = Xxxxxxx

Hello, excuse me. Could you please tell me where the Tourist Office is? = Xxxxxxx

Hello, excuse me. Where can I get a taxi to Jooɓaas? = Xxxxxxx

Where can I catch a train to Dakar? = Xxxxxxx


Why

Why didn’t you come? = Xxxxxxx

Why aren’t you eating? = Xxxxxxx

Why aren’t you drinking? = Xxxxxxx

Why didn’t you call me? = Xxxxxxx


How

How do I get from Jooɓaas to Jaxaaw? = Xxxxxxx

How do I get from Siin to Saluum? = Xxxxxxx

How is that possible? = Xxxxxxx

How are you going to get there? = Xxxxxxx

 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


The following multiple choice questions are designed to test your ability to ask questions using proper Saafi grammar. You will be told the correct English translation and are then expected to click on the correct Saafi question which corresponds to the English translation. You have already learned these words in the previous lessons. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

4. Personal pronouns = Woyoha boobi

Subject
Click and listening to pronunciation
I
Mi
You (sing.)
Ɓa
He or She
Ay or A
It
Wa
We

Ɓo

You (pl.)

du

They

Ɓed

Object
Click and listening to pronunciation
Me

do

You 

da 

Him or her

de or a

It

xxxxxxx

Us
dif
You
du
Them

Ɓa

Personal pronoun examples 


Subject:


Mi = I


I am going. = Mi cor te da

I am coming. = Mi haye da

I am going Gambia. = xxxxxxx

I am going to England. = xxxxxxx

I am going to France. = xxxxxxx

I am coming to Senegal. = xxxxxxx


Fu = You


What’s your name? = Fu teeku ne 

Where are you going? Fu kiinde

Where have you been? = xxxxxxx

Are you going to school? = xxxxxxx

What are you studying? = xxxxxxx


Ay or A = He or She


He said he has gone. = A wo so ne achoti


Wa = It


It is destroyed. = Wa yakin

It is big. = Wa yakid

It is good. = Wa mbahid

It is important. = Wa raakiɗ solo

It is delicious. = Wa nebit

It is hot. = Wa doh doh

It is cold = Wa soss soss


Ɓo = We 


Let’s eat the rice = Ɓo nyamat mande

Let’s take a taxi = Ɓo mbayat taxi

Let’s do rituals in the Saafi way of worshiping God = Ɓo sahsukat wass Kooh Saafi


Ɓed = They


They are stupid = Ɓed nan nan

They are black = Ɓed suusuus

They are white = Ɓed yaano

They are yellow = Ɓed mboha




Object


Do = Me


Give me = On do

Give me some money = xxxxxxx

Give me some food = xxxxxxx

Give me some water = xxxxxxx

Give me a place to stay = xxxxxxx


Da = You


I have seen you = Hotee da

I have seen you at the library. = xxxxxxx


“De” or “A” =Him or Her


I know him = Mi inhid de

I know it = Mi inhid da

I know her = xxxxxxx

I know your mother. = xxxxxxx

I know them. = xxxxxxx


Dif = Us


He took us to Siin = A ɓayid dif Siin

He took us to Jolof = A ɓayid dif Jolof

She took us to Siin = xxxxxxx

They took us to Saluum = xxxxxxx


Du = You


They gave you some money = Du onu xaalis


Ɓa = Them


They were seen at the beach = Ɓa hootu sero chok ma

I saw them at the beach = xxxxxxx

Demba saw them at the beach = xxxxxxx

Kumba saw them at the party = xxxxxxx

Demba saw them in London = xxxxxxx

I have seen them in Siin = xxxxxxx

I spoke to them at the party = xxxxxxx

I spoke to them yesterday = xxxxxxx


 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


The following multiple choice questions are designed to test your understanding and usage of Saafi personal pronouns. You will be told the correct Saafi translation and are then expected to click on the correct English sentence which corresponds to the Saafi translation. Although all these English phrases are grammatically correct, only one of them corresponds to the Saafi translation. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

5. Possessive pronouns = Woyoha raak raak*

Possessive pronouns
Click and listening to pronunciation
Mine
 Wingo
Yours
 Wing da
 His or Hers
 Wing de
 Ours
 Wing dif
 Yours 
 Wing du
 Theirs
 Wing  ɓa
Possessive adjectives
Click and listening to pronunciation
My
Ŋo
Your

da

His or Her

de

Our

dif; daf or dafi

Your
du
Their 
Ɓa (or Ɓooba)

*Raak is verb meaning to have. Raak raak means possession. 

*Wo or woy means speak or words. The word oha in woyoha is a suffix which expresses the means. For example the word for pen is fees. Since we use pen to write, the word for write therefore becomes feesoha. The word ann means drink. The word for cup therefore becomes annoha. Another example is the English word door. In Saafi proper, the word for door is  ndenderi, however the Saafi words aas (enter) or pul (go out; exit) can also mean door if we add the suffix oha.  For example: aasoha or puloha. In this example the suffix oha expresses the means of entering or going out (a door).

Possessive pronoun examples


Wingo = Mine


It is mine = xxxxxxx

The car is mine = xxxxxxx

The money is mine = xxxxxxx

It is not mine = xxxxxxx

The car is not mine = xxxxxxx

The money is not mine = xxxxxxx


Wing da = Yours


It is yours = xxxxxxx

The car is yours = xxxxxxx

The money is yours = xxxxxxx

It is not yours = xxxxxxx

The car is not yours = xxxxxxx

The money is not yours = xxxxxxx


Wing de = His or Hers


It is his = xxxxxxx

It is hers = xxxxxxx

The car is his = xxxxxxx

The car is hers = xxxxxxx

The money is his = xxxxxxx

It is not hers = xxxxxxx

The car is not hers = xxxxxxx

The money is not his = xxxxxxx


Wing dif = Ours


It is ours = xxxxxxx

The car is ours = xxxxxxx

The money is ours = xxxxxxx

It is not ours = xxxxxxx

The car is not ours = xxxxxxx

The money is not ours = xxxxxxx


Wing ɓa = Theirs


It is theirs = xxxxxxx

The car is theirs = xxxxxxx

The money is theirs = xxxxxxx

It is not theirs = xxxxxxx

The car is not theirs = xxxxxxx

The money is not their money = xxxxxxx

Possessive adjectives examples


In Saafi possessive adjectives, the noun is placed before the possessive. For example:

ŋo (my) ; da (your) ; de (his) ; dif, daf or dafi (our) ; du (your); ɓa (their) = possessive


kaha (house) = noun


My house = Kahanin ŋo

Your house = Kahanin da

His house = Kahanin de

Our house = Kahanin dafi

Your house = Kahanin du

Their house = Kahanin ɓa

Let’s go to my house and watch the football match. = xxxxxxx


Ŋo = My


My head = Hafin ŋo

My hand is hurting = xxxxxxx

I forgot my wallet at home = xxxxxxx

I lost my wallet = xxxxxxx

I am cleaning my house = xxxxxxx

I am washing my clothes = xxxxxxx

I am looking after my son = xxxxxxx

I am looking after my daughter = xxxxxxx

I am looking after my children = xxxxxxx


Da = Your


Your hand = Ya hind da

Your car is beautiful. = xxxxxxx

Your shoes are beautiful. = xxxxxxx

Your hair is beautiful. = xxxxxxx

Your shirt is looks nice. = xxxxxxx

Your dress is beautiful = xxxxxxx

Your house is on fire. = xxxxxxx

Your bathroom is flooding. = xxxxxxx


De = His or Her


His or her finger = Tuuk nin de

Her hand is bleeding. = xxxxxxx

His hand is bleeding. = xxxxxxx


Dif, Daf or Dafi = Our


Our bangle = Ki nyi ching daf

Our house = xxxxxxx

I am going to our ancestral home. = xxxxxxx

I am going to Siin with our children. = xxxxxxx

I took the children to Saluum to visit our grandmother. = xxxxxxx

I am going to our hotel. = xxxxxxx

Our taxi has arrived. = xxxxxxx

Our God is Kooh Seen. = xxxxxxx

Our God is Rooh Seen. = xxxxxxx


Du = Your


Your country = Kuur du

Your house = Ka hand du


Ɓa (or Ɓooba) = Their

Their way = Wassiig ɓa

Their God = Koohing ɓa

 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


The following multiple choice questions are designed to test your understanding and usage of Saafi possessive pronouns. You will be asked to identify the correct pair of Saafi and English possessive pronouns and adjectives. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

6. Greetings = xxxxxxx

.
.
Good morning

Mod baabi

Good afternoon
Mod woti
Good evening
Mod niini
 

How are you (to a man or group of men)? 

 

Fu tumne ƴaari

 

How are you (to a woman or group of women)?

 xxxxxxx
  How are you (to someone or group of people regardless of gender / sex)?
 Fu tumne
   I am fine. And you, are you well?
   Mingarek ɓa fu raakiɗ jamm
   Yes I am well. I thank God and our ancestors. 
   Ee, mi corkid Kooh Seen na hatayci
 How is the family? 
 xxxxxxx
 They are all well thank you. 
 xxxxxxx

In Senegalese and Gambian culture, people spend a long time greeting each other and asking about the family, work etc. 

 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


In following questions, you will be asked to fill in the missing word or character, and to spot the wrong spelling by clicking on the correct option. Each sentence will be written in Saafi-Saafi and you will need to fill in the blank or spot the wrong spelling. Each question relates to Saafi greetings – which you have just learned. Read each sentence carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

7. Time of the day, season and weather = xxxxxxx

.
 .
It is daytime  
Kooh wiisid
It is night (night-time)
Kooh hoobid
What time is it?
xxxxxxx
It is 8 o clock (08:00) 
xxxxxxx
The time is 1 o clock (13:00).
xxxxxxx
The time is half past seven (19:30)
xxxxxxx
.
.
It is dry season
Kooh seekid
It is rainy season
xxxxxx
It rained
Kooh' tobid
It is rainy (rainy sky)
Kooh ngaabid
.
.
What is the weather like? 
xxxxxxx
It is sunny
Kooh nohid
It is windy
Kooh pudsid
Hot (weather)
Doh
Cold (weather)
Soss
 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


The following questions tests your understanding of what you have just learned about time, season and the weather in Saafi. You will be given a list of phrases in Saafi and asked to identify the odd one out. Read each sentence carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

8. Days of the week and months of the year 

The following two tables show the 7 days of the week and 12 months of the year in Saafi. Some of these days are adopted from Arabic and are not authentic or native Cangin or Seereer words. Those borrowed from Arabic are marked with an asterisk (*). The rest are native to the Seereer ethnic group. For more about the historical Seereer religious and agricultural calendar, visit that article. 

 English : Days of the week

Saafi-Saafi : xxxxxxx
Sunday
Dibor
Monday
Toj / Teniŋ
Tuesday
Latir
Wednesday
*Daba
Thursday
*Hemes
Friday
*Juma
Saturday
Gaaw

Credit:


The seven days of the week and twelve months of the year were provided courtesy of Dimlé Sène.

English : Months of the year
Saafi-Saafi : xxxxxxx
January
Ndomboroŋ 
February
Ndoom 
March
Siga 
April
Jembaan 
May
Ɗool 
June
Gam 
July
Mooɗ 
August
Mooɗol 
September
Jumburkuhun 
October
Jalmasan 
November
Jumburuŋ 
December
Ɓeew
Follow this conversation between two friends talking about the day of the week, month and year, and making plans to attend a wrestling match.
xxxxxxx
What is today's date?
xxxxxxx
Today is the 7th of July 2014.
xxxxxxx
What was yesterday's date?
xxxxxxx
Yesterday was the 6th of July 2014.
xxxxxxx
What date is it tomorrow?
xxxxxxx
Tomorrow is the 8th of July 2014.
xxxxxxx
 
What day is it today? 
xxxxxxx
Today is Thursday.
xxxxxxx
What day is it tomorrow?
xxxxxxx
What day was it yesterday?
xxxxxxx
Yesterday was Wednesday.
xxxxxxx
Can we go and watch the wrestling match next week Thursday?
xxxxxxx
Sorry, but no. I practice the Seereer religion  (a ƭat Roog) and it is forbidden in Seereer religion and culture to engage in cultural activites like the njom (wrestling) on Thursdays.  
xxxxxxx  
What do you do on Thursdays?
 
I make offerings to the *Pangool on Thursdays. This April just gone, I attended the Raan Festival at Tukaar. It was on a Thursday. 
xxxxxxx
Can we do it next Monday then?
xxxxxxx
Sorry, but no. Monday coincides with the day of rest in Seereer religious law. 
xxxxxxx
How about next Saturday?
xxxxxxx
Next Saturday is fine.
xxxxxxx  
Great! Next Saturday then.
xxxxxxx

*The Pangool are ancestral spirits or saints. See Seereer religion.

 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


The following multiple choice questions are designed to test your knowledge on the days of the week and months of year in Saafi, as well as your ability to state full dates for example: "Today is the first of January 2015." You will be asked to identify the correct pair of Saafi and English dates. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

9. Nature and the heavens = Kooh na eel ci

Nature
*Kooha
Soil
Merhey
The earth (or the soil)
Kehji
Water
Masub
Fire
Yonkah
Smoke
Ɗuuku
Field
Yohon
Farm (enclosed farm)
Tam*
.
.
Shadow
Sangu

*Kooh or Koox Seen is the supreme deity worshiped by the Saafi. Anything relating to nature, time and space is usually referred to as kooh in Saafi-Saafi.

*Tam can also mean: follow; take way; pass by; or  wisdom - that is someone gifted in the paranormal world. 

The heavens
Eel ci
.
.
Sky (the sky)
Ellci
.
.
Stars (the stars)
Xoor ci*
.
.
The Sirius star (called Yoonir in Seereer-Siin)
Seesse 
.
.
Moon 
Cabbin
Sun (the sun)
Noohi

*The word ci is the plural of a noun and is usually added at the end of the word. For example: eel ci (the heavens) or xoor ci (stars).

Examples relating to nature and the heavens


The soil is very good for planting fruits and vegetables. = xxxxxxx

I am going to my farm to harvest my crops. = xxxxxxx

The Point of Sangomar derives its name from the Seereer word “sangomar” which means “the village of shadows.” = xxxxxxx

The sky is blue. = xxxxxxx

Can you see the star Yoonir in the night sky? = xxxxxxx

 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


The previous lesson introduced you to some new vocabulary relating to nature and the heavens. In the following questions, you will be given an English word or phrase and asked to click on the corresponding Saafi word or phrase. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

10. Places and directions = Ɗissik na wass*

 

.

Above


or 


On

.

Ɗafki

Ɗafka
Ɗafuk

 

.

Down



.
Kehji
Kehja
Kehej

 

Ɗafki; ɗafka; ɗafuk 


Examples


  1. Jeegan is above the house = Jeegan aye ɗafuk kaha ne
  2. Jeegan is above the hut = Jeegan aye ɗafuk njupe
  3. Demba lives in the apartment above = xxxxxxx
  4. My mother lives in the apartment above = xxxxxxx
  5. The bag is on the bed = xxxxxxx
  6. I put the keys on the table = xxxxxxx

Kehji; kehja; kehja


NB: These 3 words are related to the soil. They all mean down. Take kehji for example which also means the earth or the soil. If you use it as a preposition for places or direction it means down.


Examples


  1. I went down to the police station to give to give a statement. = xxxxxxx
  2. That is not safe. Come down the stairs at once. = xxxxxxx
  3. Tell Demba to come downstairs and eat. = xxxxxxx
  4. I cannot come down there today, I am very busy. = xxxxxxx

 

.

Under



.
Ooɓ
.
Ooɓar

 

Ooɓ; ooɓar


Examples


  1. My shoes are under the desk = ñyafa ci cide ooɓ mbangi.
  2. I will wait for you under the bridge = xxxxxxx
  3. Children under twelve years of age must be accompanied by an adult. = xxxxxxx

*Wass means directions, it can also mean the way. We can also use yourkhoha or yourhid koho both of which means directions. The verb is yourah which means take direction.

.
 .
Right
Yaah ñahoom*
Left
Yaah sing*
Between
Xarmban
After or front
Fiki
Before, behind or back
Finho
Straight
.
Ahead
.
Turn
.

*Yaah ñahoom and yaah sing are both compound nouns. In Saafi, ñahoom means right, but the word yaah (hand) is added (in relation to the right hand). The same is true for yaah sing (left). Sing means left but the word yaah is added in relation to the left hand.


Yaah ñahoom; yaah sing; straight; turn


Examples


1. The drugstore is on your left = Turno hakidic kidga wedeem yaah singin nga

2. My house is on your left = Khahan ndo wedeem yaah singin nga

3. The door is on your right = Ndenderi wedeem yaah ñahoom

4. The Seereer Market is on Saafi Road. Go straight then turn right into Ndut Street. Keep walking until you reach Saafi Road on your left. Turn left into Saafi Road and you will see the Seereer Market. = xxxxxxxx


Xarmban


Examples


1. My village is between Dakar and Mbour = Kuur bo wa ndic na xarmban Dakar na Mbour.

2. The hospital is located between the police station and the super market = xxxxxxxx

3. The pharmacy opens Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm = xxxxxxxx

4. The post office closes between 1pm and 2pm.


Fiki 


Examples


1. Look in front of you = Marka fiki fu.

2. The bank is after the post office = xxxxxxx

3.  My house is after the petrol station = xxxxxxx

5.  The toilet is the white door in front of you = xxxxxxx

5.  I will wait for you outside the train station in front of Senegambia Café = xxxxxxx

6. The Seereer Resource Centre is on Seeh Avenue. Go straight then turn right into Waro Street and drive straight ahead. After the second junction turn left into Laalaa Street. Keep going until you reach the end of Laalaa Street. The Seereer Resource Centre is the big green and white building in front of you. = xxxxxxx


Finho 


Examples


1. Look behind you = Ngala finho fu.

2. The stadium is behind the bank = Scana football asay wedeem finho banka ne.

3. My house is behind my farm = Kahando minic finho yohondo.

4. The Seereer Association is in number 7 Noon Street, just behind Jegem Primary School. You have to go back and turn left into Ñoominka Road. Keep going until you reach Jegem Primary School. Noon Street is the first street on your left just after the School. = xxxxxxx

5. The internet café is on Saafi Road, just before the bank. = xxxxxxx

6. The bureau de change is on Seeh Avenue, just after the Seereer Resource Centre but before the Seereer Library. Xxxxxxx


Dialogue = xxxxxxx

Let’s introduce you to Michael and Demba. Michael is a tourist who has just landed in Saafi country and is trying to find his way to his hotel. He saw Demba walking down the street and stopped him for directions. Let’s follow the dialogue.

Speaker
Dialogue in English
Dialogue in Saafi
Michael 

Hello, excuse me.

 
Demba

Yes!

 
Michael

I am sorry to bother you.

 
 

I am lost and I need help.

 
 

I hope you don’t mind.

 
Demba

Not at all.

 
 

How can I help you?

 
Michael

I am trying to find Hotel Saafi.

 

Do you know where it is?

 
Demba

I certainly do.

 

Hotel Saafi is in number 1 Saafi Road.

 
 

Go straight then take the first right into Ndut Street.

 
 

Keep going straight.

 
 

The second road on your left is Saafi Road.

 
 

Turn left into Saafi Road and you will see Hotel Saafi.

 
 

It is a big white building,

 
 

you can’t miss it.

 
Michael

Thank you so much.

 
 
You have been most helpful.
 
Demba

You are welcome.

 
Michael 

Thank you

 
Good bye.
 
Demba
Good bye.
 
 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


You have just learned words and phrases relating to places and directions. In the following questions, you will be given an English statement and asked to select the correct Saafi translation. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

11. Human being / person =   Ɓo

                                          Male = Ƴaar                                           


Maad a Sinig Maye Kor Juuf 

King of Siin. Reign: 1924 to 3 August 1969


Female = Ɓitib


                                        Yaandeeh Koodu Seen 



Parts of the human body = xxxxxxx

                 Nose                Head                   Tooth      Neck          Hair             Abdomen

                   =                     =                          =              =              =                    = 

                 Kiñin              Haf                      Ciss      Mbook        Fin              Rook








Eye = Xaas


Ear = Nof


Mouth = Ngub


Shoulder = xxxxxxx


Chin = Yiim


Finger = Ndukun (or Tukun)

Arm = Yaah


Knee = xxxxxxx


Toe = xxxxxxx




Thigh = Ram



                     Hand                   Leg                Tongue             Foot

                       =                         =                       =                    =

                  xxxxxxx                Kot                 Peɗeem         xxxxxxx               



Example of verbs relating to parts of the human body = xxxxxxx



Example 1. Eye = Xass


To see = hot

To look = Marak

I saw Demba at the restaurant = = xxxxxxx

I saw him at the restaurant = xxxxxxx

I saw her at the hotel = xxxxxxx

I saw them take a taxi = xxxxxxx

I am watching TV = = xxxxxxx


Example 2. Ear = Nof


To listen = sek ɗuuk

To hear = nkarah

I am listening to the news on radio = xxxxxxx

I can hear his car coming = xxxxxxx

I can’t hear you very well = xxxxxxx

I can hear you very well = xxxxxxx

Can you hear me? = xxxxxxx


Example 3. Nose = Kiñin


To breath = iik

To feel the smell = Eeñduk

I can’t breathe = xxxxxxx

She can’t breathe = xxxxxxx


Example 4. Mouth = Ngub


To speak = wa

To eat = ñyam

To drink = ann

I am eating chere = xxxxxxx

I would like something to drinking = xxxxxxx

I am drinking baobab juice = xxxxxxx

I am speaking on the phone = xxxxxxx


Example 5. Toot = ciss


To chew = oong

To chew = oong

To brush your teeth = sechu

Chew your food properly = xxxxxxx

She is chewing gum = xxxxxxx

Go and brush your teeth = xxxxxxx

I am brushing my teeth = xxxxxxx



Example 6. Tongue (as the tongue in your mouth); language (as in Saafi-Saafi) = Peɖeem


Saafi language (Saafi-Saafi) = Peɖeem Saafi

Seeh (or Seh) language or Seereer Siin = Peɖeem Seh

Mauritanian language (Arabic) = Peɖeem Naar Ganaar

European language(s) = Peɖeem Toubab

I am learning to speak the Saafi language = xxxxxxx

To taste = xxxxxxx

To suck on a lemon = xxxxxxx

To taste the chere (Seereer couscous) = xxxxxxx


Example 7. Arm (as in human arm) = Yaah


To fold your arms = xxxxxxx

Demba folded his arms whilst talking to his teacher = xxxxxxx

Demba folded his arms whilst talking to Kumba = xxxxxxx

I broke my arm whilst playing football = xxxxxxx

Demba broke his arm whilst playing football = xxxxxxx

He grabbed her by the arm = xxxxxxx

He grabbed me by the arm = xxxxxxx


Example 8. Abdomen = Rook


I am touching my abdomen = xxxxxxx

She hits him Demba in the abdomen = xxxxxxx

He hit me in the abdomen = xxxxxxx


Example 9. Finger = Ndukun; Tukun


I broke my finger please take me to the hospital = xxxxxxx

I am putting the ring on my finger

He put the ring on her finger = xxxxxxx


Example 10. Nails = Chatnap


She went to the manicurist to have her nails done = xxxxxxx

I am going to the manicurist to have my nails done = xxxxxxx

I am cutting my nails = xxxxxxx

 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


In this knowledge test, you will be given a list of words in English pertaining to the human body and asked to select the Saafi word for that body part. You will also be asked to translate phrases from English to Saafi relating to parts of the human body. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

12. The family members Boobi nik kahni 

Family members
Boobi nik kahni
Father
Paamou
Mother
Ndaamou
Younger brother or sister
Tamdox
Older brother or sister
Yakak*

Grandfather = xxxxxxx


Great grandfather = xxxxxxx


Grandmother = xxxxxxx


Great grandmother = xxxxxxx


Husband = xxxxxxx


Wife = xxxxxxx


Parents = xxxxxxx


Son = xxxxxxx


Daughter = xxxxxxx


Children = xxxxxxx


Fiancée = xxxxxxx


Aunt = xxxxxxx


Maternal aunt = xxxxxxx


Paternal aunt = xxxxxxx


Uncle = xxxxxxx


Maternal uncle = xxxxxxx


Paternal uncle = xxxxxxx


Cousin = xxxxxxx


Paternal family = xxxxxxx


Maternal family = xxxxxxx


Paternal lineage = Paamou ci


Maternal lineage = Ndaamou ci


Ancestors = xxxxxxx


Descendants = xxxxxxx


Boyfriend = xxxxxxx


Girlfriend = xxxxxxx


.
.
 
To be old (man)
Yoobko*
Old man
Yobkhori
Old men
Yobkoci
  .
  .
To be old (woman)

Ɓiif

Old woman
Mbitif
Old women
Mbitifci
 
 

Little boy; little girl = komaki

.

*Yakak is a compound of yak (be old; grow) and the suffix ak

*Yob or Yoob (as in yoobko) means fragile. 


Examples:


May I introduce my father to you = xxxxxxx


My father’s name is Demba = xxxxxxx


May I introduce my mother to you = xxxxxxx


My mother’s name is Ngoneh = xxxxxxx


May I introduce my elder sister to you = xxxxxxx


May I introduce my younger brother to you = xxxxxxx


This is my wife. Her name is Kumba. = xxxxxxx


Kumba please meet Demba = xxxxxxx


My wife gave birth to a new baby boy = xxxxxxx


He is my younger brother. He was born after me. = xxxxxxx


She is my older sister. I was born after her. = xxxxxxx


Today is my sister’s birthday = xxxxxxx






We are having a family party would you like to come? = xxxxxxx


My ancestors were griots = xxxxxxx


My ancestors were nobles = xxxxxxx


My ancestors were saltigues (high priests) = xxxxxxx


Your ancestors were Lamans = xxxxxxx


His ancestors were kings of Siins and Saluum = xxxxxxx


Her ancestor was the chief griot for the king of Baol. = xxxxxx


Do you know the history and genealogy of your family? = xxxxxxx


I know the history and genealogy of my family = xxxxxxx


I don’t know the history and genealogy of my family = xxxxxxx


My ancestral home is in Tukar = xxxxxxx


My cousin is a doctor = xxxxxxx


I am studying to become a lawyer just like my father. = xxxxxx
 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


In this knowledge test, you will be given a Saafi word relating to members of the family and asked to find its antonym. For example the antonym of paamou (father) is ndaamou (mother). You will also be asked to introduce a family member from English to Saafi, and to translate an English word of a family member to Saafi. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

13. Words relating to life and the human senses = xxxxxxx

Words relating to life and the senses
 Woy ci rassoh na kifess
Life
Kifess
Breathe
Iik
Look
Iij
Look
Marak
Smells good; good smell
Eeñ
Smells bad; bad smell; rotten
Ott
Feel (smell)
Eeñduk
Taste 
.

Touch 

 
 Hear 
 

Examples


Can you breathe properly? = xxxxxxx


I can’t breathe properly. = xxxxxxx


I can breathe properly. = xxxxxxx


He is not breathing = xxxxxxx


My great grandmother is still alive. She is 107 years old. = xxxxxxx


The food smells delicious. = xxxxxxx


The apple smells rotten = xxxxxxx



I like the smell of that perfume = xxxxxxx


I don’t like that smell = xxxxxxx


Look at that beautiful house = xxxxxxx


He can’t see. He is blind. = xxxxxxx


She can’t hear. She is deaf. = xxxxxxx


I can feel my heart beating. = xxxxxxx


I can feel the smell of the lemon at the back of my throat. = xxxxxxx

 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


In this knowledge test, you will be given a list of Saafi words and asked to select the only word which does pertains to the human senses. You will also be asked to translate phrases from English to Saafi relating to life and the human senses. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

14. Words relating to death and the afterlife = xxxxxxx

Words relating to death and the afterlife
xxxxxxx

Death

kakaan

Afterlife

 

Heaven

 

Hell 

.

Jaaniiw (a Seereer term meaning the place where good souls go)

 

Grave

 

Tomb

 

Burial 

 

Corpse 

 
Funeral 
 

Examples


He died yesterday = xxxxxxx


My great grandmother has passed away = xxxxxxx


Kumba Ndoofeen Famaak Juuf died in 1871. = xxxxxxx


The king is dead = xxxxxxx


The queen is dead = xxxxxxx


My great grandfather is buried at my family’s tomb in Siin. = xxxxxxx


He was a good man. He is in Jaaniiw. = xxxxxxx


In Seereer religion, there is no heaven or hell. Good souls go to Jaaniiw. Bad souls will be rejected from entering Jaaniiw and they become lost and wondering souls. = xxxxxxx


He is buried at Latri Kunda cemetery in the Gambia = xxxxxxx


The funeral is tomorrow = xxxxxxx

 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


In this knowledge test, you will be given a list of words derived from the previous lesson and asked to select the Saafi name for that word. You will also be asked to translate phrases from English to Saafi relating to death and afterlife. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

15. Dialogue between two Saafi-Saafi speakers = xxxxxxx 

In this lesson, you will learn a short dialogue between two Saafi-Saafi speakers. The first speaker is called Tamsir Juuf and the second speaker is called Demba Seen. We will use their respective initials (T.J and D.S) to denote the name of the speaker. In this dialogue, you will notice that there are no question marks (?) in the corresponding Saafi-Saafi translations. Instead, the word ne acts as a question mark.


Try to understand what is being said by each speaker as you will be tested later on it. 

Speaker
 English 
 Saafi-Saafi
T.J
Hello or how are you (to a man)? 
Fu tumne  ƴaari *
D.S
I am fine. And you are you well?
Mingarek ɓa fu raakiɗ jamm
T.J
Yes I am well. I thank God and our ancestors. 
Ee, mi corkid Kooh Seen na hatayci
D.S
How is work?
Fu tumne ƥangki.
T.J
Ok. I am doing my best.
Ee, mi ndeg ɗuuk keh kek.
D.S
What is your name?
Fu teeku ne
T.J
My name is Tamsir.
Mi teeku Tamsir
D.S
What is your surname?
Fu kañu ne
T.J
My surname is Juuf.
Mi  kañu Juuf.
D.S
Where do you live?
Fu guen nde.
T.J
I am from the Gambia but I am currently living in Europe.
Mi guen Gambia wayi mi nik tougal.
T.J
And you, what is your name? 
Fu nam teeku ne
D.S
My name is Demba Seen. I live in Kuur saafi.
Mi teeku Demba Seen mi guen Kuur saafi.
D.S
I am very happy to know you.
Sumid ini mi inhoh naɗa
T.J
The pleasure is all mine.
Mi up ɗa sum
D.S
May God help us. 
Kooh ambohaat  ɗaf jen.
T.J
Amen
Amin
D.S
What is the matter? (lit: Are you walking for peaceful issues?)
Fu tiinde jamo
T.J
Of course. I am conducting a research on Saafi religion and Black history.
Ee, mi saksuke waass Kooh saafi na cosaan ɓo suusuus.

*The word ƴaari is used when addressing a man or group of men. To address someone or group of people regardless of sex or gender, you can simply say "fu tumne" - which means how are you?

 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


You have just finished reading the above dialogue between Demba and Tamsir along with the notes below the table. In this knowledge test, you will be asked questions relating to what you have just read and will be expected to click on the correct answer written in Saafi. Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.

16. Saafi numbers = xxxxxxx

Counting from 1 to 21 = xxxxxxx

Saafi ordinal numbers

 
0
.
1
.
2
.
3
.
4
.
5
.
6
.
7
.
8
.
9
.
10
.  
11
.  
12
.  
13
.  
14
.  
15
.  
16
.  
17
.  
18
.  
19
.  
20
.  
Click to edit table header
 
1st 
 
2nd
 
3rd
 
4th
 
5th
 
6th
 
7th
 
8th
 
9th
 
10th
 
 

You are about to be tested on the above lesson. If you feel you are ready for the test, scroll down this page. 

 

Test your knowledge


If you have made it this far you have done pretty well. Just one more test to go and you can give yourself a round of applause.

In this knowledge test, you will be asked questions relating to Saafi numbers, for example counting from 1 to 21 and Saafi ordinal numbers. You are probably sick of reading the next line but here it is again for your delectation: Read each question carefully and click on the correct answer without scrolling up this page.