Monday, 28 June 2010

Basic First Words (And Phrases)

I know, I'm so sorry! It's been ages since I've posted, and I have no justifiable reasons for not doing so. But I'm back now!

Okay don't shoot me. I will list some basic words and phrases that are of general use, but unfortunately I do not have the use of Yoruba keys on this computer so the tonation marks are absent. However, the list is of good preliminary use for anyone who'd like to read it, and perhaps an audio recording (like the 'TalkNow! Yoruba' software or the CD's that come with 'Colloquial Yoruba') will be of additional use. Any comments or corrections are more than welcome. One thing you should keep in mind is that (as with many languages), there is more than one way to say something. You'll see me talk about this as time goes along in my blog. Here goes:

Bee ni=Yes
Rara, OR, Bee ko=No
E kaaro=Good morning
E kaasan=Good afternoon
E kuurole=Good evening
E jowo=Please
E se=Thank you
E se gan=Thank you very much
Pele=Sorry
Bawo ni=How are
Bawo ni nnkan=How are things
O dabo=Goodbye


I must also note that some phrases in Yoruba differ depending on who you are speaking to. For example, the 'E' at the beginning of phrases such as 'Good morning', 'Good afternoon', 'Good evening', and 'Please' are when referring to an older person or someone in authority as a sign of respect. If referring to someone who is your age or younger, you would not use the 'E', in these cases. So, 'E kaaro' may be used when referring to someone in authority or older, and 'Kaaro' would be used when referring to someone your age or younger. Similarly, 'E' is also used in the plural, when speaking to more than one person, regardless of their age of position of authority. So you would need to say 'E Kaaro', for example, when speaking to two or more people.

There are many other cases of when phrases change depending on who you are speaking to, which I will outline later. This may seem difficult but books like 'Colloquial Yoruba' by Anthonia Schleicher really help simplify such rules, making it easier to digest, with the help of exercises to complete that help to assimilate these grammatical rules.

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