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Yoruba, Nigeria

Ìtàn lóòótọ́ – The True Story

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Language Overview

Yorùbá, a Niger-Congo language, has a rich history rooted in West Africa, primarily Nigeria. It’s spoken by over 20 million people, mainly in southwestern Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. Yoruba also has a significant diaspora presence.
Market Insights
In Yoruba-speaking regions, digital media is rapidly growing, with a preference for mobile-first content. Social media platforms and local TV channels are popular, with content often reflecting community values and traditions.
Cultural Context
Yoruba culture places high importance on respect and hierarchy, evident in its language use. The language has polite forms and specific greetings for different times of the day. Understanding these nuances is crucial for effective communication.
Writing System and Typography
Yoruba uses the Latin script, with diacritics for marking tone and vowel length. The text flows left-to-right. Special attention should be given to accurately rendering tonal marks in typography.
Phonetics and Phonology
Yoruba’s phonetic system is notable for its use of three tones: high, mid, and low. These tones are essential for meaning and pose a challenge for non-native speakers. Nasalization is also a significant feature.
Grammatical Structure
Yoruba typically follows a Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) structure. It has a rich system of verbal aspects but lacks tense in the way it’s understood in English. The language has extensive use of proverbs and idiomatic expressions.
Media and Text Layout
Translations from English to Yoruba can expand by up to 15-20%. Subtitling needs to account for tone markings, which affects spacing. The ideal character count per line is around 35-40 for readability.
Localization Challenges
Translating idiomatic expressions and proverbs can be challenging, as they often don’t have direct equivalents in other languages. Cultural adaptation is key to effective localization.
Technical Considerations
Yoruba script requires Unicode support for proper display of its tonal marks. Compatibility with major software is usually not an issue, but special attention is needed for web and mobile interfaces to ensure correct rendering.
Other information
Yoruba is known for its rich oral tradition, including folklore, music, and poetry, which plays a significant role in cultural preservation and identity.
Our Human Voices
  • YOURM01Boy
  • YOURM02Yuru
  • YOURF01Eliza
  • YOURM03Samy
  • YOURF02Gana
  • YOURM03Rie
  • YOURF05Laval
  • YOURF04Lianu
  • YOURF03Olie

Additional Language Information
Additional Country Information
External Language Documentation
Open Language Archives