For those who have a great interest in learning to say «Hello» in Yoruba, this page will interest you very much. It’s because we’re going to be discussing ways in which you can say “Hello” in this wonderful dialect.
The next time you spot a Yoruba friend or family, you will know how to properly convey your regards. But before we move forward, it will be great if we take a short look at Yoruba culture.
Do You Know How To Say Hello In Yoruba?
Do you know how to say thank you in Nigerian languages?
There are practically no tribes in the country who have no greetings in the context of their culture.
The Yoruba tribe in question is not joking with greetings. Any child who comes across an elderly person without a salutation will be classified as a non-automated child.
The greetings in most Nigerian cultures vary from time to time. Morning greetings may differ from the afternoon and night greetings.
The Yoruba People
The Yoruba language is among the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria, with more than 47 million speakers worldwide.
They are mostly located in the southwest region of the country, such as Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti, and Lagos. The word Yoruba has its origin as a borrowed term by the Europeans right from the early 19th century.
It was after that the name passed through a series of evolutions amongst larger ethnolinguistic groups including missionaries.
The Yoruba culture was originally an oral tradition and the principal speakers are the natives of the Yoruba language.
You will be surprised to learn that Yoruba are classified in the Edekiri and Igala languages to form the “Yoruboid” language group.
Consequently, we have what is known as West Africa because of the narrow similarity of the two tribes.
There is another hypothesis that the Yoruba language has been developed from an undifferentiated “Volta-Niger” group.
That was about the first millennium BCE, where the northwest, the Southeast, and the Central and the northwest were combined to have a central Yoruba dialect.
Hello In the Yoruba Language
There is no agreed-upon translation for the word “hello” in Yoruba.
In English, the word «hello» can be used to greet someone at any time. But in Yoruba, salutations vary according to the time-lapse as we mentioned above.
We have greetings for early morning, forenoon, afternoon, evening, and night.
In addition, some salutations are meant to be verbalized on special occasions such as festivals and seasons. Let’s go forward and see how we can say hello in Yoruba and then with more words to say hello.
- Nle o >that’s the closest way of saying hello in Yoruba, although there is another way you can allege that. It’s used to address a young person or someone younger than you.
- E rora o > you may as well say hello using this word, especially for the older ones. However, this greeting varies depending on gender. For an elderly man, you say “E rora sir” then a woman you say “E rora ma”.
- E nle o> this one is used to say hello to a senior, but that depends on the gender. If you want to address an elderly man you can say “E nle sir” then for an elderly woman “E nle ma”.
- E Pele o > is another word to greet when speaking to an older person. If it’s a male, you say “E pele sir” and when it’s a female, you say “E pele ma”.
- E ku ishe o > you can use this word and salute any person who is busy with work or anything. But when you address an aged man, you should say “E ku ishe sir” then for the woman “E ku ishe ma”.
- E ku Ikale o > this word is best used to greet any person who is at rest like sitting or relaxing. But if you are referring to an aged person, you add sir or ma at the end of the word based on the person’s gender.
- E lo > you may use this word at any time you wish to say hello to another person. This word is derived from “Hello”. However, pronunciation and spelling differ from region to region. Some other groups of Yoruba say a lo, aalo, and so forth.
These are essentially the words you may use to say “hello” to another person in the Yoruba language. But the words used for greetings do not stop there, we have other words that you may use for greetings.
We’ll take a look at them.
- Kilo nsele > the word is a simpler way of saying ‘what’s up’.
- E kaabo > this word is used to salute someone who has just entered a place.
- Bawo ni’ > this word merely means ‘how are you doing’.
- Kaaro o >’ signifies hello’ specifically for individuals of the same age group. Notwithstanding, you can add ma or sir when addressing someone elderly for gender.
- E kaaro o’> it always means“good morning” but is used to speak to a senior. It may also be directed at more than one individual.
- E kale o > the word means good evening and it is mostly used when the time is after 7 pm until morning time.
- E ku irole o > this is another way of saying good evening to Yoruba, but it is used around 4 pm to 7 pm.
- E kaasan o > it means good afternoon. But when you salute a senior, you say, Sir/Ma.
Who is Expected to Greet in Yoruba?
As with other cultures, everyone is supposed to greet, no matter who or what gender you are. In most cases, the first person to see should start salutation, whether young or old.
However, if a young adult encounters an elder, the young adult must first greet the elder. Like the boys, they must prostrate themselves with their chest on the ground.
Then the girls have to kneel with their two knees.
As we said earlier, a greeting is a fundamental part of Yoruba culture. It’s a misdemeanor to walk by without greeting an elder. From what we’ve discussed, you can see how to say “Hello” in Yoruba, plus other words of greeting.
Only that the majority of words are sensitive to gender and age.
Once you are unable to salute someone acknowledging their gender and age, you may not receive a response.