Maa (Maasai)

Maasai Learning Resources

Sources found in the UW System or through search engine (for visual exposure)


David ole Munke, 2018. The Maasai Language: An Introduction. Utafiti Foundation. Eldoret, Kenya.

  • This text covers a broad range of basic introductory categories necessary for understanding Maa. For example, chapter 1 looks at sounds, vowels, and consonants. Chapter 2 outlines simple sentences. Chapter 3 dives into tenses in Maa. Chapter 4 discusses action verbs and measurement words and chapter 5 reports on numbers and numerals. This text is great for a beginners broad coverage and exposure to the basics of Maa.

Fuchs, Stephanie. 2018. “An Introduction to Maa – the language of the Maasai and the Samburu People”. Website. Accessed 06/15/21.

  • This website provides some basic words that may help a beginner Maa learner collect vocabulary for their arsenal.

Hollis, A. C. 1971. The Maasai: Their Language and Folklore. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1971.

  • This text is more ethnographically inclined and less geared towards language learning itself; however, as in other sources listed here, the context provided here for understanding the languaculture of Maa people might be invaluable for new Maa learners.

Kiel, Arnold. 2015. A Bibliography of the Maa Language and the Maasai People. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.

  • This resource is a documentary style video that is designed to introduce viewers to the Maa Language and Maasai people. This visual tool is especially helpful for language learners who appreciate audio learning!

L.H.E, and B.A.A. [year not identified]. A Maasai Grammar Guide for Beginners. [place of publication not identified]. (**Found in UW Library system)

  • This text has 60 lessons designed to guide a beginner Maa speaker through variosu grammatical exercises in Maa. These exercises include translation, structure, pronunciation and more. Thsi text is helpful for students who are not sure where to begin in their Maa learning. They can check out this text and begin with Lesson 1.

Peace Corps Maasai Language Self-Instruction Manual. Website. Accessed 06/15/21.

  • This text is helpful for providing a broad overview of the Maa language and lessons to help a beginner learn to speak the language. These lessons are designed practically to focus on conversation and communicative language.

Payne, Doris. 2008. Maa Language Project. Website. Accessed 06/15/21.

  • This platform by scholars at the university of Oregon is a user friendly website with several chapters/ pages for a beginner Maa learner to expose themself to the language. There is a link for a Maa dictionary in this platform, which, I am sure will prove very helpful for beginner learners. There are also chapters that outline who Maa people are, where they are from, what they do, where the language originated and other interesting context that might help a language learner be more successful in their acquisition.


Youtube Videos (for auditory exposure)


The Sound of the Maasai Language (Numbers and Parables) —

  • This audio can be used by an ex-situ beginner learner to expose themselves to Maa by hearing rather than reading. It includes counting numbers up through ten and then the recitation of a common parable.

Wilbur in Kenya: How to say Greetings in Maasai –-

  • This audio can be used by an ex-situ beginner learner to expose themselves to Maa by hearing rather than reading. This video provides an example for how someone may greet someone in Maa.

John Speaking Maasai —

  • This audio can be used by an ex-situ beginner learner to expose themselves to Maa by hearing rather than reading.

**several other videos on youtube under the search “learning Maasai language”


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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.