All Things Kenyan

Teso Words

I taught and lived with a Kenyan tribe called Iteso. They are located in western Kenya. Their tribal language is called Teso. A few of the teachers I worked with taught me a few words in Teso. The village knew I knew English and also figured I knew some Swahili, however they were really surprised (and impressed) when I could greet them in Teso. So here are the words I learned. Since I learned them through hearing and speaking, I’m using sound files to say the words for you. I’ve included a pronunciation guide for those of you who are sound file challenged.

English Meaning  Pronunciation
The way people would greet one another Abaquero
and the response Ajoka
Another greeting Yoga
and the response Yoga noi
or I could use this response Noi Noi
Thank you Yalama
Thank you very much Eyalama noi
Rabbit Ipo

Ok, I admit rabbit is a strange one to know. I learned that when a rabbit ran through the school compound. One of the teachers taught me the word for rabbit.