Feelings and Discussions in Ateso


When answering the question ‘Biabo ijo?’ an honest answer is very acceptable (depending on your relationship to the person asking). That is why it is good to know how to express your feelings. The Ateso vocabulary for feelings is very limited which might lead back to the fact that emotions used to be considered private and not talked about much. Grammatically feelings are sometimes expressed through adjectives, whereby the form of ‘I am’ is used and the adjective is added (except for the third person singular, see Chapter X) and adjusted according to number. At other times verbs are used and conjugated the usual way.





Epol eong ailel

I’m grateful (lit.: I appreciate it/I am full of joy)

Enapakin(a) eong

I’m calm/at ease/I’m relaxed

Eyengu eong etau/Iyengunit ekatau/etauka

I’m at peace

Akoto eong da ajenun...

I’m curious about... (lit.: I really want to know)

Aminanara eong kede....

I’m in love with …

Adum eong aminat ka/eminat ka

I have got a lover (aminat is female lover, eminat is male lover)

Ejai eong amuno

I’m hopeful/optimistic (I have hope)

Anyami eong aijar

I’m enjoying myself/I am enjoying life (I enjoyed myself)

Abu eong kanyam aijar

I had a good time

Elakanar/Edusai eong etau…

I’m excited or I am anxious or looking forward to…

Epol eong agogong

I have a lot of energy or power

Eong ka kesi

I’m determined to tustle out/ compete with them (Lit: Me and them)

Oni ka ngul

We are determined to tustle out/ compete with them (Lit; We and them)

Anyam/Etingit/Aar eong etengei

I’m hungry (lit.: Hunger is holding/eating me)

Aar/Kajakit eong akure

I’m thirsty (lit.: Thirst has killed me)

Akadakit eong

I’m sad (Akadakit – sadness)

Akadakit eong

I’m sad (Akadakit – sadness)

Ajai eong kwapekwangin

I’m so so (when asked: How are you?)

Mam ipodo/apodo kanuka

Don’t worry about me

Mam eong etau esipokina

I’m not at ease (lit.: I don’t have peace)

Ipuikitos eong akiro akuan

I’m stressed (lit.: I have lots of things to think about)

Egirit/engerit eong etau

I’m reluctant/hesitant

Kasilikit eong

I’m lonely (lit.: It is urgily for me)

Etipipili do eong

I’m offended

Apianiki eong

I’m bored (Lit. It’s now tasteless to me)

Eleicono eong

I’m shy

Anyunyura/akadaki(t) eong

I’m angry/annoyed

Ikudukuda eong etau noi …

My heart yearns very much to … (lit.: My heart is pounding so much)

Apupi eong amwanis

I’m hot. (lit.: I feel heat)

Apupi eong alilim

I’m cold. (li.: I feel cold)

Emunara eong akou

I’m traumatized (lit.: I have a trauma)


Iswama oni adaun apak kere ngesi kipasitor oni

We have been working all day that is why we are tired

Mam ijo/yesi ipupete amwanis?

Aren’t you feeling hot (sing./pl.)?

Idarit lem ngesi aupar kede ijo osokoni/ogwelanaret

He’s looking forward to going to the market with you

Mam etengei anyamit/aarit eong noi

I’m not very hungry. (lit.: Hunger is hurting me a lot)