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)

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)

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…

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)

Ipuikitos eong akiro akuan

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

Etipipili do eong

I’m offended

Apianiki eong

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

Eleicono eong

I’m shy

Ikudukuda eong etau noi …

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

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

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)