A collection of useful phrases in Tem (Kotokoli), a Gur language family spoken in Togo, Ghana and Benin.
Key to abbreviations: pl = plural (said to more than one person)
|Hello (General greeting)||Bavɩ́nɩ kazɔ́ɔ!
Mɩ́vɩ́nɩ kazɔ́ɔ! (pl)
|Hello (on phone)||Aloó!|
|How are you?||Bɩyáásɩ́ nɖɔ́ɔ?
|Reply to 'How are you?'||Alaafɩ́ya!
|Long time no see||Ɖána bɩ́ɩ́zɩ!
(how many years our separation has lasted!)
Ɖána leeri! (long time)
Ɖána wá náálɛ!
(It's been two long days that we didn’t see each other)
|What's your name?||Bánÿaá nya sɩsɩ wé?
Susuwé gɛ́ bánÿaá nyá?
Nyáyɩ́ɖɛ gɛ susuwé?
|My name is ...||Bánÿaá má sɩsɩ ...
Máyɩ́ɖɛ gɛ ...
|Where are you from?||Mɩ́nyɔ́ɔ́ mɩ́ɩ́lɩɩná lé?|
|I'm from ...||Máálɩɩná ...
|Pleased to meet you||Mɛ́ɛgɛ́tɩnya nɛ́!|
Mɩ́vɩ́nɩ kazɔ́ɔ! (pl)
|Good night||Ɩsɔ́ɔ iféézi! ( “God may awaken!)|
Nbó na ngɔ́nɩ!
|Good luck!||Ɖána kʊjʊʊ́ niíni!|
|Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
|Have a nice day|
|Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
|Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
|I don't know||Ohóó!|
|Do you understand?|
|I don't understand||Mádánɩ́ɩ|
|Please speak more slowly|
|Please say that again|
|Please write it down|
|Do you speak English?||Nyánŋmatɩ́ Ingilíísi?|
|Do you speak Tem?||Nyánŋmatɩ́ Tem?|
|Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
(I don’t know it well enough!)
|Do you speak a language
other than Tem?
|Speak to me in Tem||Ŋmaa ma Tem daá.|
|How do you say ... in Tem?||Susuwé gɛ́ bánÿaá ... Tem daá?|
Gaafára! (to give pardon)
Salááma aléékum! (for entering a house)
|How much is this?||Nŋɩ́nɩ́ gɛ́ bánÿaá kɩna?
Ɩsɔ́ɔ boɖí! (for a gift)
Ɩsɔ́ɔ fá lááɖá! (for a gift)
No-oɖé! (for a service)
Na tɩmɛ́rɛ! (for a service)
|Reply to thank you||Bɩdaláa nabʊrʊ́ (not to mention)
Wenbi nyɔzɔɔlɛ́ɛ ná
|Where's the toilet / bathroom?||Wɩlɩ́ɩ ma sɔɔnɩ!|
|This gentleman will pay for everything|
|This lady will pay for everything|
|Would you like to dance with me?|
|Do you come here often?|
|I miss you|
|I love you||Mɔɔzɔɔlɛ́ɛ nya
|Get well soon|
|Leave me alone!|
|Call the police!|
|New Year greetings||Đána talɩ́ɩ!|
|One language is never enough|
|My hovercraft is full of eels|
Phrases provided by Haiko Hoffmann
If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.
Why not share this page:
Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.