YORUBA ALPHABET AND GREETINGS

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FROM:motherlandnigeria.com/languages.html#yoruba

YORUBA ALPHABET &LANGUAGE
Here is an introduction into the Yoruba language.

The Yoruba alphabet consists of 25 letters, as shown below:
In case you are wondering, the sound samples are my aunt LETTER SOUNDS LIKE (IN ENGLISH)
a English word ‘ahh’
b English word ‘bee’
d English word ‘dee’
e English letter ‘a’
English sound of ‘e’ in ‘let’
f English word ‘fee’
g English sound of ‘g’ in ‘get’
gb Very ‘hard sounding’ ‘b’.
h English word ‘he’
i English letter ‘e’
j English letter ‘g’
k English word ‘key’
l English word ‘lee’
m English word ‘me’
n ‘nee’
o English letter ‘o’
English sound ‘au’ as in word ‘fault’
p Very hard-sounding ‘p’.
r ‘re’
s English word ‘see’
English word ‘she’
t English word ‘tea’
u English sound of ‘oo’ in word ‘loose’
w English word ‘we’
y English word ‘ye’

Within the Yoruba language, there are also accents that define how a syllable is pronounced. In the written language, these consist of the following options, and are placed on top of the letters, usually on top of the vowels.

ACCENT SYMBOL VOCAL SOUND
Intonation: Fall of voice
(nothing) Normal
Intonation: Rise of voice
Circumflex: long syllable

As an example, take a simple three letter word like ‘igba’ (remember, gb is ONE letter). It can have the following meanings depending on the accents (these sounds are my aunt too):

WORD MEANING HEAR IT
Time, period
Two hundred
Calabash cut in half
Locust tree
System of pawning

Also, like in other languages, the exact same word can have different meanings. As another example, take the state my parents are from originally (Ogun). In this case, the accents make a difference, plus there are different meanings with the same accents (these sounds are my aunt too).

WORD MEANING HEAR IT
Basket used to catch shrimps & lobsters
god of iron, god of war

An inheritance.
Medicine

Sweat

War
Twenty

Here are some common phrases in the language, written and spoken. (When speaking the Yoruba language, the exact wording you use usually depends on how the person you are referring to compares to you in age, and that is why there are two different forms below.) The written phrases are minus the accents.
(These sounds are me. However, I am not perfect in the speech, plus my ‘r’s don’t sound right in either language, and I can’t even say the ‘p’ or ‘gb’ in Yoruba correctly.

ENGLISH PHRASE NOTE AGE MATE OR YOUNGER SOMEONE OLDER
Good Morning spelled out
more common
Good Afternoon spelled out
more common
Good Evening spelled out
more common
Good Night
(Until Morning) spelled out SAME
more common SAME
GoodBye SAME
Long time no see
Please
Thank You
Yes SAME
No SAME

3 Responses to “YORUBA ALPHABET AND GREETINGS”

  1. ethelmcgee Says:

    i would love to have these lesson sent to my email that i may continual to learn yourba if it is possible that you can tell me were i can get a audio of pronunciation of all the words to practice the word of yourba

    thank you

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