eccentricyoruba: (yemanja)
[personal profile] eccentricyoruba
I'm starting a series of post on learning the Yoruba language over at my journal. This is the introductory post.

Yoruba is language spoken by millions and has various dialects. We'll be learning standard Yoruba which stands separate from the dialects, mostly because it incorporates features from several Yoruba dialects. Basically with the standard Yoruba you'll be able to watch a Yoruba movie and understand, or at least have an idea of, what everyone is saying even when dialects are used. However I should mention that even with this knowledge, some dialects remain unintelligible. And it's not just me, some of my cousins who speak Yoruba fluently cannot understand dialects from certain Yoruba provinces.

Yoruba is a tonal language. Determining the tones may be difficult but as soon as you've mastered them, you don't need to do much more except increase your vocabulary. O on the subject of difficulty, Yoruba people speak using a lot of proverbs! So you may want to learn proverbs so when someone says "the festival of masquerades will soon be over and the director of the ceremonies will have no choice but to seek and provide food for his children", you'll know what the meaning they are trying to convey.

Regarding the sources that will be used, first there's the FSI Language courses (henceforth, FSIL). I'm not sure how I came across FSIL courses, (if someone informed me of them thank you very much!) they've got courses available for free in a wide range of languages. I'm using them not only because they are free and easily accessible but also because the courses are in depth. From the FSIL courses website you can download a Student Text in pdf format and mp3s that will aid in pronunciation and further your learning. I'd have liked interested Yoruba learners to purchase Colloquial Yoruba by ---, but even I don't have a copy of the book so FSI Yoruba Basic course it is!

I also like the look of this site, you can download and install Yoruba fonts from there (also free). Mind you I am yet to install the fonts for various reasons but I'll do that later today. There's also an app available at the iTunes store; uTalk Yoruba. This one is not free (I bought it for £6.99) but it is great for vocabulary building. It can also available for Androids. As for a dictionary, there is

I've seen people pick up amazing Yoruba by watching Yoruba movies all the time. I will not advise anyone to do a random search for and watch a Yoruba movie online, you may end up watching the worst sort of crap. Let me sort through the good and the bad ones, I'll put up Yoruba movies I watched and liked with this tag. Alternatively, if you alright with spending four hours watching a plotless movie let me know :D

Listening to Yoruba music is also a good way to pick up tones. Again, if you listen to just any Yoruba music you may not learn much as these days, musicians use a lot of slang. Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey have been recommended to me. Once more, I'll be searching for and sharing their music here under the same tag.

eccentricyoruba: (dusk)
[personal profile] eccentricyoruba
I'm crossposting this from my journal (thanks to [personal profile] dhobikikutti) with a few additions.

Thanks to [personal profile] pulchritude   for writing about her style name and thereby inspiring this post. This post is all about names. I can't speak for other Africans or even other Nigerians but Yoruba people tend to have a lot of names. I personally have 4 names including my surname but I only use my first given name and my surname which are both quite Arabic. While my first name is supposed to be Arabic but is very English apparently because of how it is spelt and pronounced, my surname is very Arabic.

This post is in dedication to my Yoruba names which I think are so amazing and cool even though I hardly get to use them.

The importance of Yoruba and ancestral names )


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