Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal is bordered to the west by the North Atlantic Ocean. On land, the nation’s longest border is with Mauritania to the north, an 813 km border along the Senegal River. The lowest point in Senegal is the Atlantic Ocean, at sea level.

Key Cities

Key cities in Senegal include: Dakar, Touba, Rufisque, Thies, Ziguinchor, Kaolack, Saint-Louis, M’Bour, Diourbel, and Louga.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

Senegal was part of the Ghana Empire in the 8th century and the Djolof kingdom, in the area between the Senegal River and modern-day Dakar, during the 13th and 14th centuries. Saint-Louis was secured by the French in 1659, and the whole of Senegal by the end of the 19th century. Language French is the official language, but really only used regularly by a minority of Senegalese who were educated in colonial-style schools of French origin. Most people speak their own ethnic language. Three-quarters of the population speak the Wolof language, thereby making it the lingua franca of the country.

Brief Country History

The first human beings in Senegal were hunters but by about 3,000 BC they had learned to farm. About 500 BC knowledge of how to make iron tools reached West Africa. By 500 AD a sophisticated society arose in Senegal capable of building stone circles. Towns and trade flourished. In the 13th century, the Empire of Mali included much of western Africa including Senegal. However, the power of Mali declined in the 15th century and Senegal broke up into small kingdoms.

Meanwhile, Europeans were exploring the coast of West Africa. The Portuguese landed on Cap Vert in 1544. The Portuguese began to trade with the Africans and their influence gradually grew. However, in the early 16th century, the Portuguese settled in Brazil and they needed slaves to work sugar plantations there. So they began to import slaves from West Africa. Slavery was not new in Senegal but the Portuguese took huge numbers of slaves from the area. In the later 16th century the English joined the slave trade. In the early 17th century so did the Dutch and the French. The Dutch established a trading station on Ile de Goree in 1617. The French established a trading station in 1639 and in 1677 they took Ile de Goree from the Dutch.

During the 18th century, the slave trade flourished. Europeans persuaded Africans from the coast to attack neighboring tribes and take captives. The captives were exchanged for goods like guns and cloth. They were then shipped across the Atlantic in appalling conditions. However, the British banned the slave trade in 1807.

In the 19th century, the British became the ruling power along the River Gambia but the French advanced inland along with the River Senegal. In 1884-85 the European powers divided up Africa. France was confirmed as the colonial power in Senegal.

In the early 20th century Senegal was a prosperous colony exporting groundnuts. However, in the 1950s demands for independence grew in Senegal. Finally, Senegal became independent on 20 June 1960. At first, Senegal was joined with Mali but the union was short-lived. Senegal became a separate nation on 20 August 1960. Leopold Senghor became the first leader. He introduced a new constitution in 1963. Senghor stepped down in 1980. He was replaced by Abdou Diouf. Diouf in turn was president of Senegal until 2000. He was replaced by Abdoulaye Wade.

Today Senegal is still a poor country. However, its economy is growing rapidly. Senegal has great potential for tourism. Today Senegal is developing quickly. Today the population of Senegal is 16 million.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

Senegal is a multilingual country. Ethnology list 36 languages, Wolof being the most widely spoken language. French, which was inherited from the colonial era, is the official language of Senegal.

Important Types of Commerce in Senegal

The main industries include food processing, mining, cement, artificial fertilizer, chemicals, textiles, refining imported petroleum, and tourism. Exports include fish, chemicals, cotton, fabrics, groundnuts, and calcium phosphate. The principal foreign market is India at 26.7 percent of exports (as of 1998).

Language Services US and others will provide working with Senegal

Translations and interpretations are extremely important for a conference/ meeting that will include attendees from all over the world. Senegal has plenty to offer as far as business and leisure, making it an ideal option. The only way that communications can go smoothly will be if translators are present in order to handle any languages that may need interpretations. Spanish being the primary language of the country translation/ interpretation of English is a must to handle a business meeting or conference smoothly. Spanish interpreters not only have an excellent idiomatic command of the Spanish language and of the other languages they work with, but also a great cultural knowledge of the Senegal society, which means they are able to provide you with the most accurate and the highest quality Spanish interpretation services.

Looking for a French, Wolof translation/ interpretation company? Look no further. American Language Services (AML-Global) offers certified translations, native interpreting services, and turn-key localization solutions for any language. Call us today @ 1-800-951-5020 for further information, visit our website or for a quick quote click


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