Kpelle-Health, Sickness, and Wellness Part 2

In previous lesson I presented vocabulary and sentence structure related to physical health. Today I will present some basic questions associated with health and sickness, while also expanding it to emotional/mental health and wellness.

Medical Questions

Whats your name?: Ila aba gbEE?

Who can we contact?: GbEE be kwa pori mare-kE?

Do you have a cough?: TooN kaa ya?

For how long?: A gE tai yEElu

How long have you been sick?: Tai yEElu be ya gE kolE?

Are you taking your medicine?: Ya I sale seyei?

Does the baby/child have a cough? Toon kaa loloN ma?

Have you had your vaccinations? I imaki seye?

Do you take malaria medicine? I kpono-faa maa sale seye

When did the symptoms first start? Mi tai be goo e pelaN la?

Please cough: TooN saa

Do you understand: Imeni

I understand: Na meni

Signs of Illness:

Burn: gelen

Yale: break

Yalee: broken

Kolo-wolo: scratch

Kpono-faa-maa: have a fever

Soli: hurt or ache

Tee: cut

Too-seN: rash

Toon: cough

Weli-ke-maa: bone

Wolo: cry

Yee-kon: muscle

Paa: sore


Happy: lii nEEi (you happy?- ilii a nEEi?)

Afraid: lii too polu

Angry: lii wana

Hate: bele-kpe-goi

Basic Answers:

Yes: Ooee

No: Kpao


Yes, very much: ooee, a daa ma

Yes small-smaall: ooee a bElE-bElE

I am _____: na _____

I am not____: Fe _____

Example: Nai a neei (I am happy) Nai a nEEi da maa (I am very happy)

Fe a neei (I am not happy)


Add M or N to noun (for example body party to express possession): koi (stomach) becomes ngoi (my stomach); zua (nose) becomes nzua (my nose)

To express something hurts use phrase: ______(body part with “N” in front) and then solii (hurting)

Example: Nei a solii (my eye is hurting)

To express something is broken use: ______(body part with “n” in front) + Yalee

Example: ngoo a yalee (my leg is broken)


Practice the dialogue between you and the doctor. The doctor will be asking questions. Choose the best answer.

Now try to fill in the blanks from the sentences. Use the following words to help:

nun; manan-la; naan; Your name



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