Hausa Greetings

Greetings are very important and consist of more than just simple hellos. Below is a list of phrases that would commonly be used in a conversational greeting.

Note that there are different ways to greet people to show respect. These greetings are not shown below.

ENGLISH                              HAUSA                                NOTES

Good morning                      Ina kuana                            Literally “how did you sleep?”

Good afternoon                    Ina Ooni

Good evening                        Ina hini

Hello                                       Sannu


How are you?                        Ki na lahia                          If speaking to a woman

How are you?                        Ka na lahia                         If speaking to a man


Generally asked in the morning

Are you well awake?             Kin tashi lahia?                 If speaking to a woman

Are you well awake?             Ka tashi lahia?                  If speaking to a man

How is your tiredness?        Ina gajiya?

I have no tiredness               Ba/Babu gajiya


Asking about family

How is your family?              Ina iyali?

How is your wife?                 Ina mata?

How is your husband?         Ina miji?

How are your children?       Ina yara?


Other questions

How is work?                         Ina aike?

How is your home?               Ina guida?

How is school?                      Ina makaranta?


Responses – unless a response is provided above, these responses work for every question

(noun) thank God for it        (noun) de godiya

Very fine                                 Lafiya lau

Fine                                         Lafiya


Ending the conversation

See you later                          Sai an jima

See you tomorrow                Sa gobe

Ok                                           Yauwa


**Note that “ina” can also be switched with “yaya” and keep the same meaning in each of the questions above.


Sample conversational greeting:

A: Ina kwana

B: Lafiya lau

A: Ki na lafiya?

B: Lafiya

A: Ina gajiya?

B: Ba gajiya

A: Yaya iyali?

B: Iyali de godiya

A: Ina aike?

B: Lafiya lau

A: Sai an jima

B: Yauwa. Se an jima


Try it yourself!

Fill in the below conversation taking place in the afternoon with the appropriate words.

Test your knowledge on key vocabulary associated with greetings!


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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.