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Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) is a language native to West Africa, mainly near the Bight of Benin. With an estimated 50 million speakers worldwide as of 2020, Yoruba is one of the most influential African languages. It is spoken chiefly in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, and Ghana, where it is an official language. Internationally, Yoruba can be heard in Brazil, where it is a recognised minority language, plus England, Maryland, Texas, and New York.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Vowels[edit]

A - [ah] like in the Spanish alphabet
E – [a] like “a” in skate
é - [eh] like the first “e” elephant (dot written underneath the vowel to get the new sound: E / e + ̣: E / é)
I – [ee] like in sweet
O – [o] like “o” in sofa
O - [or] like the first “o” in octopus (dot written underneath the vowel to get the new sound: O / o + ̣: O / O)
U – [u] like “u” in blue

Consonants[edit]

B
like boy (IPA: b)
D
like do (IPA: d)
F
like fin (IPA: f)
G
like go (IPA: ɡ)
Gb
the g and b of go and bed at the same time (IPA: ɡ͡b)
H
like hello (IPA: h)
J
somewhat like geek (IPA: ɟ)
K
like skit (IPA: k)
L
light L (higher-pitched, non-dental), like British light (IPA: l)
M
like milk (IPA: m)
N
like nose (IPA: n)
P
the k and p of skit and spin at the same time (IPA: k͡p)
R
rolled/trilled R (IPA: r)
S
like seem (IPA: s)
like ship (IPA: ʃ)
T
like still (IPA: t)
W
like will (IPA: w)
Y
like yacht (IPA: j)

Common diphthongs[edit]

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Hello? (informal)
Nyeke?
How are you?
Mokaavi je?
Fine, thank you.
Mokje
What is your name?
Didi ti kiri vi?
What are your names?
Kiri vi yotui? (plural but also used for politeness towards elders)
My name is Eseosa .
Orúko mi n jé Eseosa. / Orúko mi ni Eseosa.
Nice to meet you. (informal)
Inu mi dun lati mo o.
Nice to meet you. (plural/honorific)
Inu mi dun lati mo yin
Please.
(é) Ekravo (note: [e] is plural in Yoruba but also used in respect to elders)
Thank you.
é se / o se (note: [o] is singular and used amongst friends.)
You're welcome.
Ko si nkan kan . (ko to ope)
Yes.
b ni
No.
bee k / ó ti / ra ra
Excuse me. (getting attention)
E jowé
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
E ma binu (literally: "Don't be angry.")
I'm sorry.
(E) pélwadé
Goodbye
O dabo!92.31.154.126 18:19, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
I can't speak Yoruba [well]
N ko le so Yorùbá [daradara] / N kò le gboo èdè Yorùbá [daradara]
I speak Yoruba a little bit
Mo gb èdè Yorùbá dí.
Do you speak English?
Se o le s èdè oyinbo?
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Shé énikéni wa nibi ti o le so oyinbo?
Help!
égba mi o! / ran mi lowo!
Look out!
(E) wo b yen!
Good morning.
ku aaro = E kaaro
Good evening.
(E) ku irol = E kurole
Good night.
(E) ku ale = E kaale
Good night (to sleep)
O di aaro! (note: could also be used as a dismissal. It literally means till morning.)
I don't understand.
Ko ye mi.
I understand.
O ye mi.
I have a question.
Mo ni ibeeri.
Where is the toilet?
Nibo ni ilé igoensé wa?

Problems[edit]

Numbers[edit]

ọkan or ẹni or kan
(one)

eji or meji
(two)
mẹta
(three)
mẹrin
(four)
márùn
(five)
mẹfa
(six)
meje
(seven)
mẹjọ
(eight)
mẹsan
(nine)
mẹwa
(ten)
mọkanla
(eleven)
mejila
(twelve)
mẹtala
(thirteen)
mẹrinla
(fourteen)
mẹdogun
(fifteen) note: fourteen is the last number in Yoruba, besides those in the tenth position)
mẹrindilõgún
(sixteen) note: to make sixteen Yoruba will subtract four (mẹrin) from twenty (õgún)
mẹtadilõgún
(seventeen)
mejidilõgún
(eighteen)
mọkandilõgún
(nineteen)
õgún
(twenty) note: Yoruba numbers uses increments of ten, but not like in English. It is shifted upward 15-24, 25-34, etc.
mọkanlelõgún
(twenty one) note: to make twenty one Yoruba will add one (ọkan) to twenty (õgún)
mejilelõgún
(twenty two)
mẹtalelõgún
(twenty three)
mẹrinlelõgún
(twenty four)
mẹdọgbọn
(twenty five)
ọgbọn
(thirty)
mọkanlelọgbọn
(thirty one)
márùndilogoji
(thirty five)
ogoji
(forty)
adọta
(fifty)
ọgọta
(sixty)
adọrin
(seventy)
ọgọrin
(eighty)
adọrun
(ninety)
ọgọrun
(one hundred)

===Time=== (Ago) ====Clock time==== ( Ago me loo lo lu? ( What Time is it?)

Duration[edit]

Igbawo ni (When)

Days[edit]

Ọjọ Aiku
(Sunday/Воскресенье)
Ọjọ Aje
(Monday/Понедельник)
Ọjọ Isẹgun
(Tuesday/Вторник)
Ọjọ Riru
(Wednesday/Среда)
Ọjọ Bọ
(Thursday/Четверг)
Ọjọ Ẹti
(Friday/Пятница)
Ọjọ Abamẹta
(Saturday/Суббота)

Months[edit]

Osu

Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

Awo


Transportation[edit]

All forms of air transport - Oko ofurufu (ofurufu being sky) All forms of rail transport - Oko oju irin (irin being steel/metal/rail All forms of water transport - Oko Oju omi. ( You can now ellaborate further with size e.g. Nla (large), for a ship; Kekere (little/small) for a canoe or boat... E.g. Oko oju omi kekere ni mo wo wa (I can by a small water vehicle (canoe/boat))

Bus and train[edit]

Train- Oko Oju Irin

Directions[edit]

Right- Otun Left- Osi Front- Iwaju Back- Eyin/Ehin Up- Oke Down- Isale Under- Abe/l'abe On top of- L'orii

Taxi[edit]

Many people use motorcycles to get around the heavy traffic in Nigeria. These motorcycle taxis are called OKADAs, pronounced oh-ka-dah. "Cabi" is Nigerian Pidgin, which is an alternative word for taxi.

Lodging[edit]

Money[edit]

Eating[edit]

Bars[edit]

Shopping[edit]

Driving[edit]

Authority[edit]

King

Oba, Otunba

Learning more[edit]

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