Small talk in Somali

Learning to greet or introduce yourself is an essential part of learning a new language. Whether you are travelling to Somali to meet you grandmother for the first time or interacting with Somali speakers for business, greetings and introductions are some of the parts of a new language you want to master first.

Normally, in any given language, there might be many ways to say the same thing, for instant, there might be one, two or three different ways to say ‘Hello’ in a language. In this lesson, we will stick to the most common ways

The greeting that is used most of the time in the Somali language is (Assalaamu Aleykum).

Peace be upon you: Assalaamu Aleikum.

Peace be upon you too: Wa Aleykumus Salaam.

This universal Islamic greeting is used mainly because the main religion in Somalia is Islam. The greeting is not Somali per se, but it borrowed from the Arabic language.

Here is a few

Introduction and GreetingIsbarasho iyo Salaan
How are you?Sidee tahay?
I am fine, and you?Waan fiicnahay, adigana?
What is your name?Magacaa?
My name is AdamMagacaygu waa Adam.
Good Morning.Subax Wanaagsan.
Good Afternoon.Galab Wanaagsan.
Good Night.Habeen Wanaagsan.
Good Bye.Nabad galyo.
Bye.Nabadeey or Jaaw.
I am Ok.Waan fiicnahay.
Yes or Yeah.Haa ama Haah.
No or Nope.May ama Maya.
Please, come in.Fadlan, soo gal.
Excuse me.Iga raali noqo.
Nice to meet you.Kulan Wanaagsan.
Pleasure to meet you.Waan ku faraxsanahay la kulan kaaga.
Where are you from?Xagee ka timid?
I am from SomaliaWaxaan ka imid Soomaaliya.
I am from workWaxaan ka imid shaqo.
Do you Speak Somali?Somali maku hadashaa?
What do you do for living?Maxaad ka shaqaysaa?
Do you work?Ma shaqaysaa?
Where do you work?Xagee ka shaqaysaa?
Yes, I work five days a weekHaa, waxaan shaqeeyaa shan maalmood asbuucii.
Do you go to school?Ma aaddaa iskool?
No, I don’t go to school nowMaya, iskool ma aado hadda.
I don’t understandMa fahmin.
Do you understand?Ma fahamtay?
Yes, I understandHaa, waa fahmay.

In the Somali language,  you might sometimes hear:

How are you brother/sister? See tahay aboowe/abaayo?

How are you uncle/aunt? See tahay adeer/eeddo?  (for elderly people)

This is just to show some respect.