Maasai (ɔl Maa)

The Maasai, Masai or Maa language is a member of the East Nilotic branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family spoken by about 900,000 people in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The term Maasai refers to "one who speaks the Maa language".

Maasai is taught in schools to some extent, though the languages of instruction are Swahili and English. There is a Maasai dictionary, a Maasai translation of the Bible, and a few other publications, but generally the language is not used in writing very much.

Maasai pronunciation

Maasai alphabet and pronunciation


In some text sh may be written ch, ŋ as ng, b as mb, d as nd, wu as ww, and yi as yy.

Tone indication

á = rising tone
a = level tone
à = low tone
â = falling tone

Download an alphabet chart for Maasai (Excel)

Sample text in Masai

órè dúó apá ánaa enáyyólo naá órè taá, órè taá náají, órè dúó énaa enapákátá earây, náa káytírríshíákì náají ìnè wwéjì amû órè apá, néetây apá, néetây apá oltuŋánì ojî apá Inkimís.


As far as what I know from a long time ago, like the time there was fighting I can remember a lot about that time because a long time ago, there was...At that time there was a person named Inkimis.

Source: Language/matext.htm


Information about the Maasai language and peoples

Online Maa (Maasai) dictionary Language/matext.htm

Nilo-Saharan languages

Acholi, Alur, Aringa, Ateso, Avokaya, Baka, Bari, Beli, Bongo, Daza, Dholuo, Dinka, Dongotono, Fur, Gumuz, Jur Modo, Kanuri, Karamojong, Keliko, Komo, Lango, Lotuko, Lokoya, Lopit, Lugbara, Maasai, Ma'di, Mandari, Morokodo, Moru, Narim, Nuer, Nobiin, Old Nubian, Olu'bo, Shilluk, Toposa, Turkana, Uduk, Wa'di, Zaghawa, Zarma

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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