Yoruba (Yorùbá)

travel phototo inspire learning Yoruba
By Melvin 'Buddy' Baker from St. Petersburg, Florida, United States - Nigerian Drummers, CC BY 2.0

ALPHABET MATCHING GAME VOCABULARY FLASHCARDS

Why learn Yoruba?

You can communicate in Yoruba. Knowing Yoruba provides a competitive edge in career choices Aquiring a second language can improve your skills and grades in math and English. Studying the Yoruba Language creates more positive attitudes and less prejudice toward people who are different.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Yoruba?

*** NOTES *** Yoruba spoken in West Africa and most prominently South western Nigeria, where about 17% of the population speaks it. It is also spoken in communities in Sierra Leone, Liberia, other parts of Africa, the Americas, and Europe. - Yoruba has borrowed a lot of vocabulary from Arabic and Hausa. There are three tones in Yoruba - high, middle and low - which affect the meaning of words. Tones are marked by use of the acute accent for high tone ⟨á⟩ and the grave accent for low tone ⟨à⟩ while the mid is unmarked. It can also double words for extra emphasis.

Yoruba Alphabet & Pronunciation

A a
(ah)
B b
(bi)
D d
(di)
E e
(hay)
Ẹ ẹ
(hen)
F f
(fi)
G g
(gi)
Gb gb
(gbi!)
H h
(in)
I i
(he!)
J j
(ji)
K k
(ki)
L l
(li)
M m
(mi)
N n
(ni)
O o
(oh)
Ọ ọ
(or!)
P p
(pi)
R r
(ri)
S s
(si)
Ṣ ṣ
(shi)
T t
(ti)
U u
(uh!)
W w
(wi)
Y y
(yi)

Basic Phrases in Yoruba

HelloPẹlẹ o
GoodbyeO dabọ
YesBẹẹni
NoRárá
Excuse meMo tọrọ gafara
PleaseJowo
Thank youE dupe
You are welcomeA ki dupe ara eni
Do you speak englishSe o nso ede Gesi?
Do you understandṢe o ye ọ?
I understandO ye mi
I do not understandKo ye mi
How are youBawo ni o se wa?
Fine thanksO dara o ṣeun!
What is your nameKi 'ni oruko re?
My name isOrukọ mi ni
Pleased to meet youInu mi dun lati pade yin

Yoruba Grammar

Yoruba Nouns

Manọkunrin
WomanObinrin
Boyọmọkunrin
GirlOmobinrin
CatO nran ( )
DogAja
Fishẹja
WaterOmi
MilkWara
Eggẹyin
HouseIlé
Floweròdòdó
TreeIgi
ShirtSeeti
PantsPátá

Yoruba Adjectives

Colors in Yoruba

BlackDudu
WhiteFunfun
RedPupa
Orangeọsan
YellowOdo
GreenAlawọ ewe
BlueBulu
PurpleElese
PinkAwọ pupa
GrayGrẹy
BrownBrown

Numbers in Yoruba

ZeroOdo
OneỌkan
TwoMeji
ThreeMẹta
FourMẹrin
FiveMarun
SixMefa
SevenMeje
EightMẹjọ
NineMẹsan
TenOmẹwa (mẹwa)
ElevenMọkanla
TwelveMejila
TwentyOgun
Thirtyọgbọn
FortyOgoji
FiftyAadọta
Sixtyọgọta
SeventyAadọrin
Eightyọgọrin
NinetyAadọrun
Hundredọgọrun
Thousandẹgbẹrun

Yoruba Verbs

To beLati jẹ
To haveLati ni
To wantLati fẹ
To needLati nilo
To helpLati ran
To goLati lọ
To comeLati wa
To eatLati jẹ
To drinkLati mu
To speakLati sọrọ

Building Simple Sentences

More Complex Yoruba Sentences

AndAti
OrTabi
Butṣugbọn
BecauseNitori
WithPẹlu
AlsoTun
HoweverSibẹsibẹ
NeitherBẹni
NorBẹni
IfTi o ba ti
ThenLẹhinna

Useful Yoruba Vocabulary

Yoruba Questions

WhoTani
WhatKini
WhenNigbawo
WhereNibo
WhyIdi
HowBawo
How manyMelo ni
How muchElo ni

Days of the Week in Yoruba

MondayỌjọ Mọndee
TuesdayỌjọbọ
WednesdayỌjọru
ThursdayỌjọbọ
FridayỌjọru
SaturdayAlẹ́
SundayỌjọ Sundee
YesterdayLana
TodayLoni
Tomorrowọla

Months in Yoruba

JanuaryOṣu Kini
FebruaryOṣu Kínní
MarchOṣu Kẹta
AprilOṣu Kẹrin
MayOṣu Karun
JuneOṣu Kẹfa
JulyOṣu Keje
AugustOṣu Kẹjọ
SeptemberOṣu Kẹsan
OctoberOṣu Kẹwa
NovemberOṣu kọkanla
DecemberOṣu kejila

Seasons in Yoruba

WinterIgba otutu
SpringOrisun omi
SummerIgba ooru
AutumnIgba iwọwe

Telling Time in Yoruba

What time is itOgogo melo ni o lu?
HoursWakati
MinutesIṣẹju
Seconds-aaya
O clockAago
HalfIdaji
Quarter pastMẹẹdogun ti o ti kọja
Beforeṣaaju
AfterLẹhin