The Yoruba speaking people are predominately domiciled in the South West Geopolitical zone of Nigeria, consisting of Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, and Ogun States.
Yoruba speaking people can also be found in two states in North Central geopolitical: Kwara and Kogi states. In fact, Kwara is dominated by the Yorubas, however, Yoruba lost the place after the Fulani invasion more than 200 years ago, but the invasion has not eroded their language.
Quick facts about Yoruba Language:
- Yoruba speakers are found in Benin republic and Togo
- Native speakers: 40 million as at 2015
So in this post, we’ll teaching you some basic greetings in Yoruba Language whenever you find yourself visiting any of the areas in future.
These Yoruba greetings are not limited to the Hausa or Igbo people who visiting the Yorubaland, but foreigners, tourists and fun-loving individuals around the World can also learn these greetings by giving them a sense of belonging when the time comes.
Findings shows that your host becomes happier when you greet in their language or speak their language.
The fact the Yoruba language is predominantly spoken in the Southwest doesn’t mean every state does not have a group of people and ethnic group within them whose speak another unique dialect.
For instance, Ijesa speaking people are found in Osun State Ibokun, Ilesa, Ilase, Ipetu-Ijesa, Erinmo, Erin Ijesa, Ijebu-Ijesa etc speak Ijesa language which is unique.
There is also Oyo speaking people within Osun, they are unique.
Beauty of Yoruba Language:
Yoruba Language is unique to the people of the region, for instance, the Egba speaking people in Ogun State have their own unique dialect.
Ondo or Owo speaking people in Ondo State are unique just as the Ekiti speaking people in Ekiti State are unique.
The beauty of this is that there are greetings in Yoruba Language everyone in the region can understand, though they all have mode of greetings in their domains.
But we’ll focus on the general mode of greetings in Yoruba Language in this post for the benefit of visitors to the region.
Respect in Yourbaland:
In Yorubaland, respect is valued like a gold among the people, by showing respect to the elders in Yorubaland, one can get all his requests granted.
A Yoruba person who shows respect to the elderly is seen as a child that’s well brought up and the the person to whom the respect is shown could go any length to make the younger happy.
In fact, we’ve seen younger ones who get gifts from the elderly ones for merely respecting the elder.
So, let’s get started…
A young man prostrate to greet his elders when greeting
A young lady kneels down to greet her elders when greeting
Good morning in Yoruba Language
Good morning: Ekaaro or Kaaro
Note: Use ekaaro when greeting an elderly person or when you are greeting a gathering of two or more people in the morning.
Use Kaaro for your age mate or your age group or a colleaque.
Good afternoon in Yoruba Language:
Good afternoon: Ekaaso or kaaro. Apply the rule as it was stated above.
In Yoruba Language, good evening is Ekaale or kaale (apply the rule as it’s stated above).
Goodnight in Yoruba Language
Odaaro is goodnight in Yoruba Language. Use odaaro for all kinds of people, however, you may add Sir or Ma at the end if you’re bidding an elderly person goodnight.
Other Special greetings in Yoruba Language
4PM to 6:00PM is considered as irole in Yorubaland when greeting simply say: Ekurole or kurole depending on the person you are greeting.
Ekaabo: You are welcome (to greet someone who just returns from a journey or outing)
Bye bye: Odabo (this apply to everyone who is going out or travelling).
Happy new year: Aku odun
Aku odun is however used for all kinds of festivals in Yorubaland, be it Christmas, Easter, Ileya (Islamic celebration) or the indigenous celebration.
Come and eat in Yoruba language: Say Ewa jehun
- Ewa or was: come
- Je: Eat
- Ohunje: food
So, when you combine the three, you have ewa jehun.
Note: You don’t have to say, “ewaa je ohunje” when you’re inviting someone to come and eat.
You can only say ewaa je ohunje on a special occasion maybe you are the cook and you’ve served the food and inviting everyone to come for their food and in this case it would be ewaa je ohunje yin ooo.
Note: Prostrating or kneeling down doesn’t apply when you’re inviting someone to come and eat.
Do you need the audio version of greetings in Yoruba Language? Or you need more explanation on any of the elementary greetings in Yoruba, ask your question or send a message to me and I’d be glad to teach you all you need to know about speaking the Yoruba language