Soussou Language

Times of Day in Soussou

Times of Day in Soussou


Objective: This lesson is a lesson in talking about time. Although we have up until this point put together a few exercises that use the time of day, and used expressions that are specific to certain times of the day, we haven’t yet covered exactly how to talk about time. This lesson will be a useful exercise in thinking about how to expand on your planning–especially in relation to talking about when you might be at a certain place, if you’ve left early or late, or if you’re feeling like you need to have extended time perhaps until the night or until the next morning to complete something. We will cover both general time words, and how to talk about being early, late, returning to the home, and similar subjects.


Key Vocabulary:

Wahati – Time (Including the phrase “on time”)

Moun doun ­– What

Lökhè – Day

Tò – Today

Tina – Tomorrow

Khörö – Yesterday

Géségè – Morning

Fèyin/Yegni – Afternoon

Noumaré – Evening

Kwè – Night


Sample sentences:

Gi-géségè n’lan ma n’kha siga takoui – Today, I have to go downtown.

Noumaré n’sigamané Nongo – Tonight I am going to Nongo

Noumaré n’famané, kha Allah tiin – I’m going to return tonight (inchAllah/God willing)

Kwè bara soh, n’lan ma n’kha so n’khogni – It has gotten late, I have to go home.

I bara bou dhè – You took a long time/you’re running late!

N’na boré dhè högni – I am at my friend’s house

Agbé mou lökhi n’ha gbiléin – I’m going to leave to come back very soon

I gbiléin ma i högni wahati moun doun? – What time are you going to be back at your house?

N’kheleri takou 16h na ma – I left from downtown at 4pm.

M’bara so hèri/afangnira – I made it (home) safely.

Fa wahati ma! – Come on time!



  • Try to talk about your day. When are you planning to go to a certain place? What is that place that you’re heading? Perhaps think about your plans for the week or your plans for a particularly difficult or busy day in the coming week. With your language mentor, try to write out what that schedule looks like in Soussou. You can think about what you’re going to do in order, and try to map it out. In the morning, you’ll be where? In the afternoon? And follow that as such.
  • A second activity to follow this up would be a way to use the sample sentences. With your language mentor, try to come up with a scenario where you’re talking to a friend or family member. You’re coming back from a long day. Try to say what time you might be home. Think about when you’re planning to leave. When are you planning to be back? Building on previous lessons, which might your chosen form of transpiration be? If so, will you be back on time? Maybe late? Does the weather play a role in any of this? Practice out some different options.
  • You can also practice trying to say that you lost track of time. For example, you can think about what to say if it has gotten really late. Pretend you’re perhaps with a friend, and it got late, and you need to get going. Think about how you’ll say this. You have to call someone and say that you’re coming home, and that you’re running late. Think about how to also follow up the call when you arrive safely at home. You and your language mentor can also switch roles for this exercise.


Feedback and Reflection

This can be a little bit of a complicated exercise because at this point we are getting into a slightly more complex level of Soussou. Once you start to think about the different times of the day too, try to remember the greetings. When you see people, what will you say to them? When you perhaps get your transport, what will you say? You need to make sure that you’re using the right expressions for the right time of day. From there, you want to make sure that you’re able to talk with others about what time it is. Remember, there are certain similarities that will tip you off to the time of day as well. For example, the afternoon is often referred to (though not always) as “fèyin.” What does this remind us of from the expressions and greetings we have seen? Same with the word for the evening, “noumaré.” Remember of course as well that as you use the various different times (yesterday, today, tomorrow) that this will also cause changes in your verbs. Remember to be conscious of the verbs we are already very familiar with and how they will change depending on the time when the action is taking place. This can often be tricky in Soussou, and will require close practice with your mentor to get remain confident in.


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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.