Greetings

In Ateso there are numerous ways of greeting people. A simple ‘hello’ is ‘Yoga’. The type of greeting which is adequate to use always depends on the situation and your relationship to that other person.

Ateso

English

Ateso Pronunciation

Iyoga/kiyoga/kimala ngesi!

Greet him/her!

Ikatunga,iyogata/kiyogata/kimalata ngesi!

My people, greet him/her!

The next form of greeting can be used in pretty much every situation, both to unknown and known people, either when just passing or when starting a conversation:

Ateso

English

Ateso Pronunciation

Ijai biai?

How are you?

Kosodi bodo? (Informal, used amongst friends or acquintances)

How are you? (Lit: What next?)

Response: Emamete aceda/ejokuna

Nothing much/It is fine

Eyalama ber eong kanu akusaswam/ aswam kus

Lit.: Thanks for your (plural) work

Response: Iso/Isio itelekarit

You’re welcome/ It’s our pleasure

Yoga ber ijo akoniswam/aswam kon

Thanks for your work

When showing respect or when actually starting a conversation, one can ask what loosely translates into ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good afternoon’ but is in fact a question:

From morning to noon:

Ateso

English

Ateso Pronunciation

Ikwenyunit biai Lokapolon(Ipa)/ Napolon(Nakapolon,Ito)?

Good morning, Sir/Madam?

Response: Ejokuna/Ejok ajotot eong ejok cut

Good, I slept very well

Ikwenyunitos/Iwalaritos biai?

Good morning (Lit; How have you woken up?)

Response: Ikwenyunit iso/isio cut ejok.

Good/We woke up feeling very well.

From noon to night:

Ateso

English

Ateso Pronunciation

Biaibo elosio apaaran Lokapolon/Napolon(Nakapolon)?

How is your day going Sir/ Madam?

Response: Ejokuna/Elosi ejok cut

Good/It is going very well

Biaibo elositor apaaran kon Lokapolon/Napolon(Nakapolon)?

How did you pass your day Sir/ Madam?

Biaibo elositor apaaran kus?

How did you pass your day?

Response: Ejok, elosit apaaran ejok cut

Our day went very well

When greeting a friend or an acquainted person (not to someone who deserves respect) and inquiring about their well-being one can say:

Ateso

English

Ateso Pronunciation

Biai bo ijo (napolon/loapolon)?

How are you (Madam/Sir)?

Response 3: Ajai

I’m fine (lit.: I’m here)

Response 2: Ija ber/ija isio

We are fine (lit.: We’re here)