Learn Yoruba and unveil the mysteries of a rich civilization
Yoruba is a member of the Volta-Niger branch of the Niger-Congo linguistic group. It is one of the three main languages spoken in Nigeria, the most densely populated country in Africa. Being the most widely spoken language of the region, Yoruba is the language of the people and is spoken in parts of Togo, Ghana, Republic of Benin, Sierra Leone, Brazil, Cuba, and the Caribbean. The Yoruba language is the most-well-known Nigerian language outside the country’s borders and is studied at university level by foreigners.
Coming from the land of deities and beautiful sculptures, the same conceptual varieties can be seen in the structure of the language as well. While the social and political organization amongst the Yoruba is much diverse, they share a common language and some customs surrounding inheritance and succession.
Yoruba is spoken by more than 20 million people and has an extensive literature of poetry, tell tales, myths, short stories, and proverbs. The language also bores striking similarities to Itsekiri language that’s spoken in the Niger Delta and to the Igala language of Central Nigeria. Together they form the Yoruboid group of languages within the Niger-Congo family.
In terms of structure and tense, the language is easy to learn but its classification as a tonal language makes it slightly tricky for English speakers. While there are three basic tones, they can be combined to create rising and falling tones. This can be challenging as even the slightest deviation can completely alter the meaning of a word.
This linguistic unity of the Niger-Congo family can be traced back to deep prehistory around 15000 years ago. However, literary Yoruba, also known as the Standard Yoruba, was born in the 1850s when the first native African Anglican bishop published a Yoruba grammar book and began translation of the Bible. This contributed heavily to the study of Yoruba and enhanced it over time with the help of his valuable insights within the languages of Nigeria.
Why Learn Yoruba?
Aside from the fact that Yoruba’s linguistic history dates to prehistory, Yoruba is also the most widely spoken African language outside of the continent. That fact alone highlights the importance of learning Yoruba. The language not only gives a vivid glimpse into the history of Nigeria, but it also has traces of Arabic influence that opens a window into the rich history of the language. This is the language of immense respect and integrity. The showing of respect in speech is one of the unique features of this language. Learn Yoruba online to have a holistic experience of learning Nigeria’s culture, history, customs, and mannerisms.
With our Yoruba Starter Online Course, you can:
Learn Yoruba Online and introduce yourself to words and phrases spoken in West Africa. With our language course, you can practice online at your own pace, anytime, anywhere and from any device.