Ateso Basics

Knowing how to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is considered to be vital when learning any language and is usually the first thing you learn. Interestingly, Ateso on the other hand doesn’t have fixed terms for ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Sometimes just a nod of the head and a ‘mmh’-sound means ‘yes’.

Ateso

English

Ateso Pronunciation

Ajai

Yes, please. (Lit. I am here/present)

Bia ne/kobuni ne. Kopotu ne/ kobunete

Come here

Adiaka/ebuca/apaca eong

I’m sorry

Kitimoi/kisioni/Kisionioi (eong)/ korimak eong

Excuse/forgive me. (Note: Spoken Ateso usually exludes ‘k’, but written Ateso must include ‘k’. Also, you may add or exclude ‘eong’. Just saying ‘kitimoi’ is also enough)

Kitimoi/Kitimite eong

Forgive me. (see also the note above). Keep forgiving me.

Kitim eong, konyaikinai erot

Let me pass (like “excuse me” when trying to pass)

Thanking – Aisialamikin

Ateso

English

Ateso Pronunciation

Eyalama. Alakara (noi)

Thank you. I am very happy

Iyalama/Ilakara isio/iso (noi)

We are greateful. We are very happy

Alakara

Thank you (lit.: I’m grateful, more formal than eyalama)

Kilakara (isio)

We are grateful

Epol isio/iso ailel/ Ileli isio

We are very greateful. (Loosely translated: That was kind of you.)

Eyalama aanyun

You are welcome/I’m glad to see/meet you.

Eong etelekarit/itelekarit

It is my pleasure

Titles

Ateso

English

Ateso Pronunciation

Ajakait (Ajaka), Ito (Nuito)

Madam (plural) Any woman

Ejakait/Lokapolon/ Edeke ka

My Lord/Master/God

Inac/Onac

Sister/brother, Friends (especially if older or around the same age)

Papa

Father, Any man far older than you

Toto

Mother, Any woman far older than you (Amojong)