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Business habits

Business meetings in Senegal are generally formal. Although Senegal is most of the times very hot, business attire is required for men and women. Skirt below the knee for ladies, jacket or suit and shirt for men, shoes - not sandals - for men. Generally, the Senegalese attach great importance to their appearance. For informal meetings the absence of a tie is acceptable. 

The Senegalese will not be so quick to confront. They will avoid discussing unpleasant topics as much as possible. It is quite possible that they will therefore agree to deadlines or promises that are impossible to fulfil.

Always bring business cards to every meeting. Preferably written in French.

Language

Senegal's official language is French - used by the state, administration, education, media and business. The language that is most commonly used by the population is Wolof. All documentation, working documents and means of communication must be in French. Documents in other languages are unlikely to be used.

We also would like to draw your attention to the fact that Senegalese value courtesy.

Some words and phrases that may help during your stay:

ENGLISH FRENCH WOLOF
Hello Bonjour Salamaleikum
How are you? Comment vas-tu? Na nga def
Thank you Merci Diereudieuf
Yes Oui Waw
No Non Dédèt
What is this? Qu'est-ce que c'est? Lanla
Come here Viens ici Kay fii
Wait Attends Kharal
Here Tiens Am
Goodbye (see you in peace tomorrow) Au revoir (à demain dans la paix) Ba suba ak jam
Until next time, God willing À la prochaine, si Dieu le veut Ba beneen yoon, inch Allah
I'm doing well/I'm fine Je vais bien Maa ngi fii rek
I'm leaving Je m’en vais Maa ngi dem
I'm satisfied/I'm full Je suis repus Sour naa
How much (the price) Combien (le prix) Niata la
Reduce the price Baisse le prix Wañi ko
Monday Lundi Altiné
Tuesday Mardi Tallata
Wednesday Mercredri Allarba
Thursday Jeudi Alxamés
Friday Vendredi Ajjuma
Samedi Samedi Gaawu
Sunday Dimanche Dibéer