What is yoruba language?

Yoruba are clever and gentle people. But they keep hiding the secrets of their origin. Where are they really from? Who are their ancestors? What is their language? And where is it spread?

Yoruba people living in West Africa. Earth called it Yorubaland. Nowadays it is a part of Nigeria, Togo, Benin and Ghana. Yoruba are very numerous, so they have managed to save their legendary language. But is Yoruba language spoken in Brazil, Nigeria and others?

yoruba woman

The ancestors of these people have created original culture Nok. It was the first on the African continent culture of the Iron Age. The terracotta and bronze statuettes of Nok culture are the pride of the leading museums of the world. Nok culture appeared 900 years before the birth of Christ and suddenly disappeared in the 200th year of our era.

Yoruba people as the heirs of an ancient culture are very numerous. Today there are about 30 million people. They managed to save their native language even in the countries where they were taken as slaves. For example, it is Brazil. Is Yoruba language in Brazil? Certainly, yes.

yoruba girl

The modern Nigeria is a big country, including several ethnic groups who speak different languages, have different customs and religious systems. One of these groups is called Yoruba. It lives mainly in the western part of Nigeria and preserves its traditions.

Although all of the Yoruba speak the same language and retain the common view of the world, they are made up of a number of social, political and ethnic groups. Each of them has its own traditions and the city center. Their rulers are called chiefs, combining political and religious power.

 These centers of urban culture are pieces of the general concept Yoru-Balendu. However, the city of Ife is still considered a common religious center, where their traditions originate from. Tribal leaders receive a confirmation of their prerogatives from the supreme leader of Ife. However, other towns, such as Oia, had a great military and political force in certain historical periods, none of them could compete with the cultural and religious superiority of great Ife.

yoruba culture

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Yoruba language belongs to the Kwa languages. Its written language is based on the Latin alphabet. Yoruba mainly distributed to the west and southwest of Nigeria, as well as to the central and western regions of Benin and the eastern part of the Central Togo.

There are about 10-12 million people speaking Yoruba language. It has eight major dialects, which differ mainly phonetically. The division into dialects roughly corresponds to the tribal and administrative division of Nigeria into provinces. Yoruba Language was used by the merchants, which contributed to its spread. Yoruba, Ibo and Hausa are three languages ​​of Nigeria.

yoruba tribe

However, Yoruba people speak also French and English besides their popular native language.

 Within the western and south-western Nigeria, Yoruba produce magazines and newspapers, radio programs are broadcast. Yoruba language is taught in primary and secondary schools. Yoruba literature has original folklore, religious, educational, ethnographic and historical character.

The Yoruba language is: seven clean and seven nasal vowels and elision of common vowel harmony; dominated monosyllabic and disyllabic words, distinguished high, low, medium tone, but there are also moving (rising and falling) tones. The tone has semantic meaning.

yoruba people

Yoruba language is very special and extremely interesting like its people and culture!


Yoruba people in the West and South-West of Nigeria, in Benin (Porto-Novo and Ketu, where they are called Nago), in the South-East of Ghana and Togo (Atakpame district). The total number of 26.2 million people, including in Nigeria 25.5 million, 380 thousand Benin, Ghana, 200 thousand, 100 thousand. The basic units of the Yoruba: Oyo, IFE, ijesa, EGBA, Ijebu, Ekiti, Ondo. Speak the language of the Yoruba group of kwa nigero-kordofanska family. There are several close dialects: Oyo, IFE, ILA, Ijebu, Ekiti, Ondo, EGBA, ovo, etc. (from different dialect them speaking in the language of the Yoruba people, itsekiri). Literary language on the basis of Oyo. Script based on the Latin alphabet was created in the XIX century by the European missionaries. Yoruba — Christians (Protestants, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists), part Sunni Muslims, many followers of traditional beliefs.

Answered 1 year ago.
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