Are you learning Igbo? Do you know there are lots of Igbo dialects. You will find there are many ways to say the same things for example; to say good morning, you could say: ‘ụtụtụ ọma’; ‘Ịpụtala’ or ‘Ịbọọla chi’.
Nevertheless, there are common and universal Igbo phrases, common Igbo greetings that are really useful to know.
Useful Igbo words
5 Ways to say ”welcome” in Igbo
Nnọọ, ịbịala, alọọ/alaa, ịbatago and ndeewo all mean ‘welcome’ in Igbo.
Learn Igbo Phrases
Kedụ ka Ị mere? How are you?
Ị bịala Welcome
A dị m mma I am fine
Kedụ aha gị? What’s your name?
Aha m bụ Ijeoma My name is Ijeoma
Kedụ ebe Ị na-aga? Where are you going?
Ana m aga ahịa I am going to the market
Ị bụ onye ebe? Where are you from?
A bụ m onye Nigeria I am from Nigeria
Kedụ ụzọ esi aga ụlọ ọgwụ? What’s the way to the hospital?
Kedụ ebe m ga azụta nri/ kedụ ebe ụlọ nri di? Where can I buy food/ Where is the restaurant?
Ka ọ dị/ ka o mesia Goodbye
Ka chi foo Goodnight
Daalụ rinne / Ịmeela nke ukwu Thanks a lot
Ị gbaligo Well done
Jisi ike keep it up
Biko nye m mmiri Please give me water
Agụụ na-agụ m I am hungry
Biko nọdụ ala Please sit down
Were oche Have a seat
Bịa rie nri Come and eat
Ndị ụlọ gị kwanụ? How’s your family?
Kee ihe Ị na-arụ? What do you do?/ What’s your work?
Abụ m onye nkuzi I am a teacher
5 Ways to ask ”how are you?” in Igbo
Kedụ, kekwanụ, ọlịa, Ị dị ọyị and kee ka Ị mee? are ways to ask ‘how are you’ in Igbo.
5 Ways to say ”Hello” in Igbo
Words for ‘hello’ in Igbo can also be used to ask ‘how are you’. They include ndeewo, anale, daalụ, Ị nọdịla and ọlịa.
5 Ways to say ”thank you” in Igbo
Daalụ, ịmeela, mmamma, ekele m and deeme are different ways to say ‘thank you’ in Igbo.
5 Ways to say ”good morning” in Igbo
Ụtụtụ ọma, Ịbọọla chi, Iteela, Ịpụtala and Ịsaala chi are different ways to say good morning in Igbo.
To learn Igbo, just start with one of these options and stick to it; as a beginner, you need the basics, not the whole vocabulary from different dialects. As you progress in your learning and speaking, you will hear more words and be able to identify words with similar meaning. Just like most things in life, ‘it’s practise’. In this context, that would be, speak, listen, write and teach someone Igbo. You can teach someone, no matter what level you are at. There are people who don’t know a word of Igbo; so if you know 10 words, hurray!, you can teach those.
Keep on keeping on. Keep Igbo language alive and kicking!!
Ka ọ dị…
For more useful phrases in Igbo, visit https://www.omniglot.com/