Borana, or Southern Oromo, is a variety of Oromo spoken in Southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya by the Borana people that you can easily learn if you got the interest and the will to learn the language.
Borana greetings are widely used across northern Kenya especially in Isiolo County and Marsabit County but Most of us especially non-speakers we really don’t know what to use when and end up misusing the Borana greetings.
After a long stay with this wonderful community, I feel that it is the right time to share with you my Borana greetings knowledge. Below are some of the Borana greetings and their response depending on gender and time of the day:
Babarot kae–> (plural form), morning greeting. (singular forms: baran katte (male) bartun katte (female)
Olman badada —-> (past midday till evening)
Galchumi wolgul galle —>evening (from late say 5:30pm till 8:pm)
Rabb karra siharin/ qorratin sithur injirt—> when one is on a journey.
Yoyya—> used any time,(mostly used to greet someone older than you)
Jajabo(plural), jabba(male) jabthu (female) —-> any time (mostly used to greet youth)
Dh’adh’o/urgao—-> generally used to ask the status of ones home.
Akam/fayya—> used when someone is sick!!!
People tend to use this greeting any other time.
Any Borana greeting with the term “NAGAA” eg, nagaa bultan, nagaa oltan and many others are used when in war or crisis. These greetings with the word Nagaa were during the shifta wars when people asked each other whether they were attacked or not.