What writing system(s) does this language use?Edit

Yoruba was originally written in the Arabic script, but after European missionaries arrived they introduced the Latin alphabet, which mostly overtook the Arabic script. The Yoruba alphabet has 25 letters:

A B D E Ẹ F G Gb H I J K L M N O Ọ P R S Ṣ T U W Y

a b d e ẹ f g gb h i j k l m n o ọ p r s ṣ t u w y

The Latin letters C, Q, V, X and Z are not used in standard Yoruba.

How many people speak this language?Edit

As of 2021 around fifty million people speak Yoruba as their native language. An additional two million speak it as a separate language.

Where is this language spoken?Edit

Yoruba is a language spoken by one of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. An estimated 20 million speak it in that country as well as a few more millions in a diaspora that spans no fewer than 10 countries, including Benin, Sierra Leon, Togo, Cuba, Brazil and the United States

What is the history of this language?Edit

Yoruba belongs to a family of African languages known as the Niger-Congo languages, which diverged from a common ancestor around 11,000 years ago. Contact with the Islamic world led to many loanwords being taken from Arabic, whilst the modern alphabet was adopted beginning in the 17th century.

Who are some famous authors or poets in this language?Edit

Ross Hellman (1768-1843) was a Yoruban slave. He wrote the first newspaper in Yoruba for the other slaves and wrote the first book too. Another famous Yoruban is Jacob Seman a playwright and actor.

What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?Edit

  • hello: Ba wo ni
  • good-bye: O da bo
  • please: E jo
  • thank you: O se/E se
  • that one: Iyen
  • how much?: E lo?
  • English: Oyinbo
  • yes: Be ni
  • no: Be ko

What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?Edit