The word HELLO is more than a greeting, it is the beginning of a great communication trend. Each word expresses a special message.
How are you?
Everything is OK?
Like to hear from you
Love to see you soon
Obviously I miss you
Saying ‘Hello’ is very important before delving into the main conversation, as it acts like an appetiser to the main course.
Considering the vast meaning of Hello, its meaning varies when said in different languages. For instance, hello in French is bonjour, which also means good morning. In Zulu, hello is Sanbonani, which literally means ‘I see you.’ In Mandarin, the most spoken language in the world, hello is Ni Hau. A Spanish will say ‘hola’, a German will say ‘hallo,’ all of these are variations of the word ‘Hello.’
In Nigeria, there are over 520 languages, meaning each of these languages have a peculiar way hello is said. While there are some similarities in some of these greetings, the difference might be in spelling, or pronunciation. For example, some parts of Igbo say Kedu as hello, while some other parts of Igbo use other variations; Kekwanu and Kekodi.
In that light, let’s explore “HELLO” in some Nigerian languages.
1. Sannu / Salama Aleikum – Hausa
2. Kedu – Igbo
3. Bawo ni – Yoruba
4. Ndala Kpe idi – Ogba (Rivers)
5. Kóyo – Benini
6. Mavo – Urhobo
7. Me digwa – Isoko
8. Shòù – Izere (Plateau)
9. Abole – Benue
10. Ibaatẹ – Kalabiri
11. Mesiere/ Abadie – Efik/Ibibio
12. Ushé-ushé – Kanuri (Bornu)
13. Agba – Kogi
14. Ado – Ijaw
15. Ere Owuro – Itsekiri
Remember that hello is usually a question that requires an answer, so when next you say hello, wait for the response and then carry on the conversation from there.
In the spirit of World Hello Day, add a smile to as many people that you say Hello to today.