HOW TO SAY HELLO IN YORUBA the Correct Way (101)


This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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Do you need to say hello in Yoruba and you are wondering how to do that? We will show you in this article different ways to say hello in Yoruba.

But first, lets talk about language.

Language is a means of communication that is understood by a community or a group of people (usually a tribe).

Language is an important part of every tribe. Every tribe has its own unique language with its unique means of communication.

Overtime, people have adopted a particular language by virtue of their family, place of birth, nature of their job, location of their job, or their interest as they grow of get to some particular stage of their life etc.

As we all know that communication is not effective or is incomplete if the receiver of the information passed can not read or understand the message passed.


To solve this, a central point of agreement where people from different ethnical backgrounds will get to understand themselves and communicate effectively, the language “lingua franca: was introduced. Most times especially in Nigeria and other countries, English remains the lingua Franca.

N.B: Lingua franca is a language or a mixture of languages used as a medium of communication by people whose native language is different. (usually from different tribes).

Related: How to say hello in Igbo; and a host of other greetings Correctly

Major Languages in Nigeria

There are three major languages in Nigeria, which are Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo.

In this article, our focus is the Yoruba language.

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Yoruba language is a language peculiar and spoken by the Yoruba ethnic group in Nigeria. They are majorly sojourned and found in southwest region of Nigeria.


Recent research carried out on the frequency of the use of certain words in our day to day communication reveals that the word “Hello” is one of the most frequently used words, in our conversations worldwide. Sometimes, the word “Hello” is used to start a sentence or communication while in other cases; it is used in continuity of a sentence. The word “hello” can also be used as a form of greetings or compliment as the case may be.

Other times we use the word “Hello” is in telephone calls (the moment we pick up a call, our conversation is mostly started with “Hello”. 8 out of 10 people will start their conversation over the phone with “Hello”.

The moment we meet someone for the first time and even when starting a conversation…it is the first words we use. It doesn’t matter how we say it or in what form or language we say it with, it generally helps us build courage and confidence in new environments.

Sometimes, especially depending on the language we use in our communication the word ”hello” can also take different form and interpretation. Further in this article, we will take a look at: how to say hello in Yoruba language.

Greetings in Yoruba Culture (How to say hello in Yoruba)

It has been observed that when speaking the Yoruba language especially amidst the tribe, greetings is an important part of each conversation, regardless of the time of the day and what the person is doing as at the time of greeting.

In Yoruba culture, respect is an important part of the cultural values. Therefore, when greeting the adults or someone older than you, it is polite to say, “E ku aro/E kaaro” (Good morning), “E ku Osan/E kasan” (Good afternoon), “E ku irole/E kurole” (good evening), and “E ku ale/E kale” (good night).

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Greetings are majorly done in respect of the time of the day, what the person you want to greet is doing presently, what is happening at the moment etc.

Other interesting facts to know

  1. “E nle” also means sorry in Yoruba
  2. Women kneel while greeting but men will prostrate.


Saying hello rarely comes up as frequent as in other languages. Notwithstanding, the word “hello” is always used but in the local dialect.

There are many ways of saying hello in Yoruba language and they are as follows;

  1. Nle o: this is the closest way of saying hello in Yoruba language and it has different forms of saying it, which are as follows:
  2. E nle o:  “E nle o” is used for elderly people, people that are older than you, a group   of people (either young or old) or just to show respect while greeting.
  3. Nle o: this can be used for a young person, or anyone younger than you.
  •  Pele o:  this is another way of saying hello in Yoruba language. It also has different forms of application as mentioned in number one (!) above.
  • E pele o:   this is used for elderly people or people that are older than you. It can also be used in conversations with people younger than you but more than one in number. (i.e when addressing or talking to a group of young people.)  
  • Pele o:  this can be used for a young person (i.e someone younger than you).
  • E lo:  this is another way of saying hello in Yoruba language. This way of saying “hello” is actually derived from English Word “Hello”. It has almost the same pronunciation but different spellings. Other ways of saying hello in Yoruba from the English derived word includes; a lo, aalo, etc. This depends on which part of Yoruba culture the speaker actually hails or live.
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Click on the link below to watch to watch a video on “how you can say Hello inYoruba” and other ways of greeting in Yoruba.

Other ways of greeting in Yoruba culture includes;

  1. ‘Báwo ni’ which means “how are you”
  2. E kaabo: which means welcome (this is used when entering a place especially home and people meet people inside)
  3. Kilo nsele: which means “what’s up”
  4. E se/o se: which means “thank you”

(N.B: “E se” is used for elderly people or group of people, while “O se” is used for younger people or a person)

You can also watch the video below and learn “how to say hello in Yoruba language” and “how to greet in Yoruba language”


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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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