Greetings in Masai language

by Rosemarie
(Litchfield, CT, USA)

I'm wondering how to greet the Masai in their language.

How to say hello to them?

Many thanks.

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Aug 28, 2015
To Archie NEW
by: Patrick

Loved your story!
I heard one where the Maasai was standing out on the Mara and an American,passing by, wanted to try to engage him in conversation. It went something like this:
American: How are your cows?
Maasai: Well, actually, the market is somewhat depressed right now, but we have hope of improvement once the overseas market stabilizes.
I was riding on a bus, sitting next to an elderly Maasai, rather poorly dressed. I was reading a book on Paleoarcheology in Kenya. I could see the man looking over at my book, so I said, "Kenya has such a rich pre-human history." This started a discussion that lasted the rest of the trip.I asked him where he went to school. His reply,somewhat offended, "Kenya."
I learned never to underestimate a Kenyan.

Aug 28, 2015
Writing the worde "Maasai." NEW
by: Patrick

When I lived in Kenya it was pointed out to me early on, and rather pointedly, that the correct spelling was "Maasai," not "Masai."
"Masai," was the British colonial way of spelling and is now objectionable-- as is the British pronunciation of the word.
See other spellings and pronunciations above.

Aug 27, 2015
sidai saleng NEW
by: Anonymous

what does sidai saleng mean

Jun 27, 2015
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Apr 13, 2015
Reply NEW
by: Sofy

That was a good question. To be frank I don’t know the Masai language and I really wanted to study. But how can I study it easily. Anyone has any suggestions? Please help me providing good advises. Waiting for your reply! EHR

Aug 09, 2014
Greetings in Kimaasai NEW
by: Patrick

I lived with the Maasai for about 3 1/2 years but learned very little of the langauge since almost all Maasai speak both Kiswahili and English.
(Their language is called "Kimaasai" by Kenyans, just as the national language is called "Kiswahili, not just Swahili. "Ki" means "the language of.")

In greeting Maasai men I was taught to say "supa" or, to older men, "supa doi."
To women it was "ta kwenya."

"Goodbye" was "ole seri," "oh-lay-ser-ee"-- "ser" pronounced "sar" as in "Sarah."

These were a some of the few Maasai words I learned. I was told that Kimaasai is one of the most difficult languages to learn, so I gave up and would greet a person and say goodbye in Kimaasai, but the conversation would be in English or my limited Kiswahili.

For those visiting Maasailand, it's pronounced, Maasai, with the double "a" kind of like "mo" as in "mop," not "mah," as in "map." The "mah" is how the colonials pronounced it and the Maasai hate that.
And Kenya is pronounced "Ken-yuh," not "keen-yuh."
Again, the colonial "keen-yuh" is abhorred by Kenyans. The vowels in Kiswahili are pronounced just like the vowels in Spanish and Japanese-- ah, eh, ee, oh, oo.
Hope this helps for those going to visit this beautiful country and its beautiful people. The Maasai are warn, loving people and I miss my Maasai students and friends.

Aug 02, 2011
maasai boyfriend
by: Essace

This is how they greet in zanzibar + tanzania
(not sure about the written)

hey what's up? - Sopai?
(answer) - Apa. (pronounced: Eppah)
many thanks - ashe naleng
(answer) - aye
good! - sidai!
i miss you - anyor naleng

Apr 10, 2010
by: Anonymous

supa oleng

Feb 08, 2010
Masaii Greetings
by: Archie Melrose

Are you ready for a tale from the 60's???

My Mom and Dad plus me and sis on the way from Nakuru to Thompsons Falls [Nyahururu]. Beat up old VW Beetle chuggin away on the red dust track trying to find the lost! Missed a turn off and all of a sudden it was 'are we lost?' Answer was YES.

Out of the bush a Masaii herdsman appears, usual dress, red dusty blanket around his body, spear, club, water bottle. Just what you would expect in the middle of Kenya.

My Dad goes up to said Masaii and tries his basic Swahili to find out way to Nyahururu. The rather tall herdsman just looks at him with disdain and replies like perfect Oxford English.

'Actually, you missed your turning a mile ago, but if you turn around you can find it...Oh by the way can you pass on my greetings to my friends in Oxford Uni'

Beware, you will be very suprised at what you find in Kenya.


Feb 03, 2010
Male and Female Greeting
by: Cassandra Maire

Here is the male and female greeting in the Masai language.

Greetings to a male - Lo murrani! Supa!
Greetings to a female - Na kitok! Takuengya!

Here is also a break down of greetings by gender and age.

Maasai Supa
Maasai [men] Suba
Maasai [answer] Suba oleng
Maasai [women] Ta kwenya
Maasai [answer] Iko
Maasai [to a young woman] Ndito ta kwenya
Maasai [to a young woman] Nditho ta kwenya
Maasai [to an older woman] Koko ta kwenya
Maasai [to a warrior] Morani ta kwenya
Maasai [to a young man] Kulalayo ta kwenya
Maasai [how are the children] Kasserian ingera

Hope this helps.

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