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.
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