10 greetings in 10 Kenyan languages

Kenya is home to many different groups who speak various and different languages.

Swahili and English are Kenya’s two official languages but there are multiple ethnic languages spoken by Bantu, Cushitic and Nilotic groups.

There is also Sheng, a form of slang used by many young people especially in urban centres.

The top 10 languages spoken in Kenya besides Swahili (Kiswahili) and English are Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Kalenjin, Kisii, Kamba, Somali, Meru, Maasai and Mijikenda

Here’s how to greet in Kenya’s top 10 languages:

Kikuyu

Hello – “Wi mwega?” which means “Are you fine?”

Hi – “Niatia”

Good morning – “we mwega ruciini ‘ or “we mwega kiroko”

Good afternoon – “We mwega umuthi”

Luhya

Peace – “Mulembe”

Good morning – “Bushere”

Good afternoon – “Keshitare”

How are you? (singular) – “Oriena”

How are you? (plural) – “Murieena”

Luo

How are you? –  “Idhi nade?”

How was your day? –  “Iriyo nade?”

Good morning  –  “Oyaure”

Good evening  –  “Oimore”

General greeting   – “Ber”

What’s up (informal)  – “Nango”

Goodbye –  “Oriti”

Kalenjin

Hello – “Chamgei”

How are you? – “Yamonei?”

Thank you –  “Kongoi”

Kisii

Good morning – “Bwakire”

Good evening –  “Bwairire”

Hello – “Ng’aki” (informal)

Kamba

Good morning – “Wachewa ata”

How are you? – “Wimuseo?”

Somali

Hi!  – “Haye! (iska waran!)”

Good morning –  “Subax wanaagsan!”

Good afternoon – “Galab wanaagsan”

Good evening – “Fiid wanaagsan”

How are you? – “Sidee tahay?”

What’s up? (colloquial) : “Maxaa cusub?”

Meru

Greeting older man: “Muga Aba”

Greeting a girl: “Muga Baaba”

Greeting older woman: “Muga Ntîî”Greeting your age mates – “Wacia”, “Baite” and “Bamungo” (all mean “my brother from another mother”).

Maasai (also called Maa)

Hello – “Sopa”

Greeting women –  “Takwenya”

Greeting men – “Supai”

Are you well? – “Errabioto?”

What’s new? –  “Kai ita?”

Mijikenda

Good morning – “Udzalamukadze”

Good Afternoon – “Udzasindadze”

How are you? – “Mwiro”

Thank you – “Ninamuvera”

You are welcome- “Karibu” 

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