Fulfulde Language Learning and Cultural Resources

Language-Learning Resources

Live Lingua: This website hosts four different Fulfulde learning resources.

  1. The Foreign Service Institute’s Fula course: The course is based primarily on Gambian Fulfulde but contains some references to other dialects. The format is a large pdf (504 pages) with recordings you can listen to in a window pane on the right.
  2. Peace Corps’ Fulfulde Technical Language Manual: This language manual was developed by Peace Corps Mali specifically for Small Enterprise Development (SED) volunteers and focuses on information and vocabulary related to the economy (including numeracy, accounting, small development projects such as building mod stoves, and tourism). It contains reading passages, vocabulary lists in Fulfulde, French, and English, and quizzes.
  3. Peace Corps’ Fulfulde Manual: This language manual was developed by Peace Corps Niger (and is quite old). It has vocabulary lists, grammar and cultural information, as well as has a few exercises, but is written in French and Fulfulde (no English).
  4. Peace Corps’ Fulfulde Dictionary: Peace Corps Niger developed a Fulfulde dictionary (in 1991) which lists each word in English, French, and then Fulfulde. The dictionary first lists English translations alphabetically, then Fulfulde. It is far from comprehensive and the dialect is very specific to Niger.

Souley O:  Souleyman Omar Diallo has a YouTube channel which he updates periodically with Fulfulde lessons on a variety of topics. He covers grammar and vocabulary, and many of his lessons are based on requests he has received.

Mido waawi Pular!: This Peace Corps manual teachers the Pulaar dialect (Senegal, Gambia, Guinea) and contains history, practice dialogues, vocabulary lists, and grammar exercises.  You can find companion videos to go with the text on this YouTube channel.

Fulfulde Phrases: Omniglot has a useful list of phrases.

Fulfulde Dictionary: Taylor, F. W. (Frank William). Fulani-English. Hippocrene paperback edition. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1995.

Fulfulde Lexicon (Maasina dialect): A Fulfulde (Maasina)-English-French lexicon : a root based compilation drawn from extant sources followed by English-Fulfulde and French-Fulfulde listings. Donald Zhang Osborn, 1993. This lexicon is one of the most comprehensive and accurate dictionaries for the Maasina dialect of Fulfulde available.

Morphology of Fulfulde: Form and meaning in Fulfulde : a morphophonological study of Maasinankoore. J.O. Breedveld, 1995.

Janngen Fulfulde: Sow, Alfâ Ibrâhîm. Janngen Fulfulde. Paris: Présence africaine, 1969-, 1969. This book serves as a reader for adult learner of Fulfulde. The text is all in Fulfulde, minus an introduction in French and English.

Fulfulde Grammar: Taylor, F. W. (Frank William). A Grammar of the Adamawa Dialect of the Fulani Language (Fulfulde). Second edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953. This book includes grammar information, broken down by concepts and includes examples.

Language, History, and Culture Resources

webPulaaku: This website is now archived, but contains information in English and in French on the culture and history of the Fulbe (Fulani) people, much of it specific to the areas in which it is spoken. For example, you can find a huge list of resources on the Maasina in central Mali here.

SpiceTVAfrica: Spice created this short video with background and information on the Fulani people and culture. The video is supposed to cover broader Fulbe traditions and daily life, but this video was filmed in Nigeria (which is where Spice is located) so the interviews are in pidgin, not Fulani.

West Africa is known for its music (birthplace of the blues) and there are performers who sing in Fulfulde. One of the most famous is Ali Farka Toure, who has several albums with songs in easily understandable Fulfulde. Souley O has a great line by line translation (including cultural notes) of Ketine. His son, Vieux Farka Toure, is still touring and has a slightly different style from his father.

In addition to its world-renowned music, West Africa also has wonderful art and craftsmanship. The Smithsonian has catalogued its pieces by Fulbe artists; of particular note are the earrings. If you see a woman wearing these earrings in West Africa, she is almost certainly Fulbe! (Large cities may be an exception to this rule).  The Met also has a short essay about Fulbe art.

The Peace Corps developed a lesson plan for high school students to learn more about the Fulbe throughout West Africa. It is based off of the Pulaku project, which strives to document different aspects of Fulbe culture.




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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.