Commonly Used Luhya Words and Their Translations

Commonly Used Luhya Words and Their Translations. The Luhya (also known as Abaluyia or Luyia) comprise a number of Bantu ethnic groups native to western Kenya. They are divided into 20 (or 21, when the Suba are included) culturally and linguistically related tribes.

Luhya refers to both the 20 Luhya clans and their respective languages collectively called Luhya languages. There are 20 clans that make up the Luhya. Each has a distinct dialect based on the locality of the speakers. The different dialects shows maturity of the Luhya language. The Luhya language can only be equated to the Baganda, Soga and Lugisu language in Uganda. The Luhya culture is similary to Great lakes region Bantu speakers that stretches all the way from their anceral land in DRC. The word Luhya or Luyia in some of the dialects means “the north”, and Abaluhya (Abaluyia) thus means “people from the north”. Other translations are “those of the same hearth.”

The seventeen sub-tribes are the Bukusu (Aba-Bukusu), Idakho (Av-Idakho), Isukha (Av-Isukha), Kabras (Aba-Kabras), Khayo (Aba-Khayo), Kisa (Aba-Kisa), Marachi (Aba-Marachi), Maragoli (Aba-Logoli), Marama (Aba-Marama), Nyala (Aba-Nyala), Nyole (Aba-Nyole), Samia (Aba-Samia), Tachoni (Aba-Tachoni), Tiriki (Aba-Tiriki), Tsotso (Abatsotso), Wanga (Aba-Wanga), and Batura (Abatura) and the Abasiaya. They are closely related to the Masaba (or Gisu), whose language is mutually intelligible with Luhya. The Bukusu and the Maragoli are the two largest Luhya sub-tribes.

The principal traditional settlement area of the Luhya is in what was formerly the Western province. A substantial number of them permanently settled in the Kitale and Kapsabet areas of the former Rift Valley provinceWestern Kenya is one of the most densely populated parts of Kenya.[2] Migration to their present Luhyaland (a term of endearment referring to the Luhya’s primary place of settlement in Kenya after the Bantu expansion) dates back to as early as the 7 BC.

Commonly Used Luhya Words and Their Translations

  • Mulembe – Peace/general greeting
  • Bushire – Good morning
  • Keshitare – Good afternoon
  • Bwakhera – Good evening
  • OIiomulamu – Are you fine?
  • Oriena – How are you? (singular)
  • Murieena – How are you? (plural)
  • Ostitonga hena – Where are you going?
  • Obulayi muno – Very good
  • Mulembe muno – Peace Good – a general greeting in response to Mulembe
  • Bushire muno – A very good morning to you
  • Namalayi muno – Good afternoon / I’m fine
  • Bwirire – evening greeting
  • Bwirire muno – Good evening
  • Endiomulamu – Yes, I’m fine
  • Khukhani khandi – See you soon
  • Khukhani mukumba – See you tomorrow
  • Mwana – greeting used by people of similar ages who share a degree of   Plural – bana, bane
  • Abakuka – grandfathers
  • Abana – children
  • Kuka – grandfather
  • Kukhu – grandmother
  • Mbotso – sister/brother/sibling
  • Mama – mother
  • Papa – father
  • Mao – your mother
  • Senje – paternal aunt
  • Khotsa – maternal uncle
  • Mulamwa – sister or brother-in-law
  • Abenyu – your (possessive)
  • –enyu – your
  • –ene – oneself
  • Eshiefu – our
  • Ababi  – bad
  • Muno – much, very much, good
  • Amani – strength
  • Amarwi/eshirwi/efirwi – ears
  • Emikhono – hands
  • Eshilemje – leg/foot
  • Lisikamo – knee
  • Eshikhumi – hundred
  • Eshikhumira – thousand
  • Amabeere – milk
  • Ebilibwa – food
  • Amatuma – maize
  • Amahenjera – dry maize and beans boiled together
  • Amatsi – water
  • Eshiachi  – granary, grain store
  • Eshiamo – fruit
  • Ingokho/eshiminywi – chicken
  • Eshimuli – flower
  • Ichai – tea
  • Ingano – wheat
  • Inyeni – fish
  • Italanyi – lion
  • Itwasi – cow
  • Liyoni – bird
  • Inyanya – tomato
  • Inzofu – elephant
  • Eshiroboto – flea
  • Omutoka – car
  • Eshifumbi – chair
  • Isahani – plate
  • Eshichiko – spoon
  • Eshikombe – cup
  • Indoo – bucket
  • Injeso – knife
  • Inyumba  – house
  • Ijikoni – kitchen
  • Ichupa – bottle
  • Eshiwo – glass
  • Eshitanda – bed
  • Ibirika – kettle/teapot
  • Eshikapo – basket
  • Eshisufulia – saucepan
  • Ichoo – latrine/lavatory
  • Idaraja – bridge
  • Ifula – rain
  • Eshiserero – wedding
  • Eshiiro – market
  • Eshifwalo – clothes/garment
  • Ikanisa – church
  • Isubutali – hospital
  • Ikalamu yamare – pencil
  • Ikalamu yobwino – pen
  • Eliaro – boat/canoe
  • Eshichanuwo – comb
  • Eshifuli – padlock
  • Ekulu – up, above
  • Eliira – name
  • Eshirima – darkness
  • Eshiro  – night
  • Eshiro shino – last night
  • Ewefu – at our home
  • Ewenyu – at your home
  • Okhufunga – lock
  • Okhusaala – pray
  • Amberi –first
  • Eshikulu – hill
  • Eliuba – sun

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