Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Helpful Hausa Words and Translations

Most Nigerians are familiar with some Hausa words. But have you ever wanted to talk to Hausa people or toast a pretty Hausa girl but didn't know how? Well have no fear, your friendly Hausa-speaking Nigerian is here to help.

Below is a list of words and phrases you can use to communicate with (stereo) typical Hausa people. Note the extensive use of a as described in Why I Love the Hausa Language. The pronounciations can be tricky though and a word can have two meanings depending on the stress of a syllable, so good luck!

Talking to a Hausa/Fulani girl
Kin yi kyau walahi! .... You are very pretty!
Me sunan ki? ............. What is your name?
Ina son ki ............. I love you
Baban ki barawo ne, dan ya sata               Your father is a thief cos he stole the stars
wuta daga sama ya sa a idon ki! .............  from the sky and put them in your eyes!
Za ki aure ni? .............. Will you marry me?
Kina son ki je Dubai da ni? ...........  Do you want to come to Dubai with me?
Baban ki yana gida? .................   Is your father at home?               


Fulani girl in traditional Fulani costume


Talking to a Hausa Gateman
You
Menene? .............What is it?
Ka gama? ............. Have you finished?  
Ka tafi ............. You can go (male, replace ka with ki if female)
Ka dawo gobe .............. Come back tomorrow
Ina zuwa ............ I'm coming
Bude gate.............. Open the gate
Kule gate............... Lock the gate


Him
Bani kudi na ............ Give me my money
Na gama ............I've finished
Zan tafi ............ I'm going
Ban gan moton ka ba............ I didn't see your car
              
Talking to Almajiris
Ka na iya karatu? .............. Can you read?
Ka na jin yunwa? ...............  Are you hungry?
Ina maman da baban ka? .......... Where is your mum and dad?
Ina gidan ka? ................ Where is your house?
Tafi chan! ................ Go away!
Ka barni! ................. Leave me alone!
Ba ni da kudi ............. I don't have any money
Ka je makaranta ................. Go to school
Boko ba haram ba! .............. Western education is not a sin!

Other helpful words:

Greetings
Yayade ............ Hello/How are you
Answer: Lafiya ............ I'm fine

Ina Kwana ........... Good morning
Answer: Lafiya ......... Fine

Sai wata rana .......... See you later
Sai gobe .......... See you tomorrow

Speaking
Bin sani ba .......... I don't know
Ba Hausa ...........  I don't speak Hausa
Ba Turanchi ........ I don't speak English

At the Shop/Store
Nawa ne? .................... How much is it?
Ina son in siya ..............  I want to buy
Kudi ................ Money
Wanchan ................. That one
Ya yi tsada ................ It's expensive
Nagode .................. Thank You
Bani... .................. Give me....
Ai (as in hay) ..................  Yes
A-a (as in rapper) ...........  No (Listen to this)
Ba kudi ............... I don't have money     

Numbers
Daya (One)                                     
Biyu (Two)
Uku (Three)
Hudu (Four)
Biyar (Five)
Shida (Six)
Bakwai (Seven)
Takwas (Eight)
Tara (Nine)
Goma (Ten)
Goma-sha-daya (Eleven: ten and one; and so on)

General  Words and Phrases
Gobe ............ Tomorrow
Yau (as in Go) ............ Today
Jiya ................ Yesterday
Da Safe ................. In the morning
Da Rana ............... In the afternoon
Da Yama ............. In the evening
Da Dare ............. In the night
Zo .......... Come
Tafi ......... Go
Zauna ............Sit down
In sha' Allah ............ By God's Grace
Yaro/ Yarinya .............. Boy/ Girl
Mata/ Mutum ................ Woman/ Man
Takalmi ................ Shoes
Riga .............. Dress
Hula ............. Cap          

Eating 
Abinchi ....... Food
Ruwa ........ Water
Shinkafa ........ Rice
Wake .......... Beans
Miya ........ Soup
Doya ......... Yam       

The Body
Kai ......... Head
Gashi ........ Hair
Ido ........ Eye
Hanchi ....... Nose
Baki ........ Mouth
Hanu ......... Hand
Chiki ......... Stomach (also means 'inside' depending on stress on last syllable)
Baya ......... Back
Kafa ......... Leg
Duwawu .......... Bottom

If you want to learn how to speak Hausa click here

22 comments:

  1. Fulani-Nigerian Yaya? Na fata kai da iyalinki duk kuna lafiya. Amin.

    Thanks for guiding me here from North of Lagos.

    I'm looking forward to learning, sharing and generally having fun here. God bless; na gode sosai.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Barka da zuwa Mr Victory! Kuma nagode. Ka chewe baka iya rubuta Hausa ba, amma kayi kokari a nan mana, ko?

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're right fah! I've made some headway, however, I've a [long] way to go.

    My Dad got me a Hausa Bible (Littafi Mai Tsarki). The day I can read it without referring to the English; that's the day I know I've "apprehended!"

    Till that day: Ci gaba da kokari, ci gaba da yin girma.

    :) This is good; I feel at home here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hausa Bible is another level of understanding. Good luck with that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. mmm yes in nigeria most of us are mixed , in the north ,
    like nupe fulani families who are the emirs of the nupes states ,

    yoruba fulanis who are mainly in kwara and shaki village ,

    and the most are hausa fulani ,

    my own lineage is traced to mali , but now am nupe because our grands intermarraiged with the tribe and the muti racial genes runs in many nigerian families ,

    well i love my country , even when i travel out i still miss my country .

    thanks for this site , my sister
    keep it going
    peace

    ReplyDelete
  6. i will like to open a tourist company to show case our emirates, emirs, palaces, cultural durbars in Arewa as well ,

    how do you see this idea ?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Salam, I just found this website today.. i wish i did ages back, but Alhamdulillah that i know it now.. its very interesting to read all these things about his and fulani people. Im 1/4 hausa and mostly fulani, as u said in one of your articles there have been a lot of mixing throughout he years. I do speak hausa and fulani, and i find it amazingly surprising sometimes the way people think hausa and fulani are the same. When writing my IGCSE at the beginning of the year, i wrote about my family's history which was connected to how islam was revived by the falanis that came from Mali. So, I'm not sure but i'll ask my Father about it, as he is very well aware of the history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need a Fulani translator (English > Fulani)

      kamal.youssef@bayan-tech.com

      Delete
  8. yaya abubuwa? ina koyon hausa. I just started learning some for my visit and found your list reallly useful. na gode.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lol Sheila, well done. Kin yi kokari. Are you learning Hausa online?

    ReplyDelete
  10. na zo Abuja jiya! littafi fa, I am beginning with access to a few basic phrases online through my volunteer organisation, VSO. Also I found a FSI Hausa course and I managed to get hold of a book Spoken Hausa by Cowan and Schuh. How far will I get? Good question, who knows. It will be fun trying :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Barka da zuwa Sheila! How are you finding it so far? It's not too hot for you I hope? The best way to learn Hausa quickly of course is to hang out with native speakers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sannu, iyali!! Im a novice at this, yet im smiling all the way...i love learning hausa. Its up-lifting to me. I learned about this beautiful culture and language reading MARVEL's BLACK PANTHER comics. it was like a sign from god. Na gode!!

      Delete
  12. Good for you Anonymous. And who knew a comic could influence someone to learn Hausa?

    I hear they're making a Black Panther movie...I wonder if Hausa will be mentioned...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Am a Dagbamba by tribe in Ghana, but a Hausa by origin. It worries me so much that am not very fluent in hausa because i love it and proud of it. Alhamdulillah, this peice will help improve my Hausa speaking capacity. Am going to print and study it.

    Bala Mariatu Kibtiyya
    Tama, Ghana

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am interested in learning Hausa, but haven't got more time to enrol in a class. I am familiar with many of the words on this page (from hearing them as a resident of Jos for three years), and I can speak some; but this is the first time I'm seeing the actual spellings of the words/phrases. Do share more words/phrases. Thanks for your efforts/ labour of love

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pelu, I'm glad you found these useful. I'll write some more very soon.

      By the way, there are online Hausa classes via Skype you can do and schedule the times that suit you. Email me on sweetweet121@gmail.com for more information.

      Delete
    2. Hi am Solomon, actually, my aim of coming to this site is to find a Fulani wife, please is there any site like that for me, or can you help me out on how i can get a Fulani wife. thanx from Solomon. My email is Chygee4Christ@yahoo.com. phone 08036115101

      Delete
    3. Good luck in your search for a Fulani wife Solomon, I doubt there is a website for that kind of thing though...

      Delete
  15. can sambody translate words form anglish to fula
    peace , unity

    ReplyDelete