You are currently viewing How To Say Sumimasen In 9 African Languages

How To Say Sumimasen In 9 African Languages

I stumbled upon the word sumimasen the other day. Can you figure out what it means? Sumimasen is a Japanese way of saying please, sorry and thank you. Three items in one package. I’m sure learning multiple languages would be simple if all words were like this.

Anyway, I had an idea when I came across the word. Please start the drums! I’ll teach you how to communicate in my native tongue. Surprisingly, I do not have a thorough understanding of my native tongue. Nonetheless, I can speak sumimasen in my tongue.

I will not only teach you how to say sumimasen in my language, but also a variety of other languages. Languages spoken in Africa.

People frequently inquire as to what language we speak in Africa. As if Africa were a nation. Please don’t think so. Imagine Africa as a mother. Our gorgeous African mother has 54 children and a large number of grandchildren.

The 54 children represent Africa’s 54 countries. The grandkids, on the other hand, represent the various languages spoken in each African country. This should now be straightforward for you. Let’s get started. So, how about it?

How Nigerians Say Sumimasen In There Different Languages

How to say sumimasen in Nigeria languages
The Nigeria flag


In today’s Nigeria, around 520 languages are spoken. The Afroasiatic language family, the Nilo-Saharan language family, and the Niger-Congo language family.  Still, English, a result of British colonial control, is the official language.

The colonial language was intended to bring the country together. Not only culturally, but also linguistically. Youths and adults nowadays prefer to communicate in English. Most especially in urban areas and large cities.

Rural people, on the other hand, have not abandoned their African culture and customs. We continue to speak our native tongues and express ourselves confidently when we say sumimasen in our native language.

A Few List Of Nigerian Languages That We will Learn

  1.  Ijaw/ Izon

How to say sumimasen in jaw language
Ijaw people


Ijaw people (also known as “Ijo” or “Izon”) are a community of Nigerians who live in the Niger Delta. Primarily in Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers states. Other Nigerian states where they can be found include Ondo, Edo, and Akwa Ibom.

As migratory fishers, they can be found in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon. The Ijaws have a population of 8 million people, according to various estimates.

They have historically lived in areas close to several sea trade routes. Also, commercial links with other areas date back to the 15th century. The Ijos (Ijaws) are descendants of the (H) ORU, an autochthonous people or ancient African tribe.

Similarly, this African name was the name amongst themselves and their immediate neighbours. The ORU’s old language and culture have been preserved by the Ijaws. Check out more details on Ijaw traditions.

How To Say Sumimasen in Ijaw

Pásisei means, please.

Mbana means Thank you.

Dílà means sorry.

   2.  Urhobo

How to say thank you, please and sorry in Urhobo
Urhobo king and chiefs


Urhobos are people who live in the delta of the Niger River. Located in extreme southern Nigeria, in the northwestern section of delta. We speak a Benue-Congo language, which is part of the Niger-Congo language family.

Several people dwell in the Ughelli local government region, as well as Warri, Ethiope, Okpe and Sapele. The Urhobo people, have  a population of almost two million. They are also, Nigeria’s fifth largest ethnic group and the largest single ethnic group in Delta State.

The Urhobo nation is divided into twenty sub-groups. Okpe, is thought to be the greatest of all Urhobo sub-groups. We Urhobos are known for our distinct dialect of Nigerian Pidgin English. Because our  language is very demonstrative, it translates into our English and Pidgin English speaking styles.

Petroleum was discovered in Urhoboland in the 1960s.  It was a mixed blessing indeed. While oil has enriched modern Nigeria, it has had little impact on Urhoboland and its inhabitants. Rather, it has caused tremendous ecological destruction, which has hindered Urhobo’s traditional agricultural and fishing activities.

As a result, agriculture has been neglected, and our people have flocked to cities and other rural areas. Particularly Benin and Yoruba territories in western Nigeria.

How To Say Sumimasen In Urhobo

Whẹ kobiruo means thank you.

Ming Wo or Migwo can also mean thank you, good morning, afternoon, and evening.

Do means sorry.

Biko means, please.

     3. Pidgin English

How to say sorry, please and thank you in pidgin English
A celebrity from warri


Have you heard of this form of English before? Pidgin English is a mash-up of English and Nigerian ethnic languages. In Nigeria now, around 30 million people speak Pidgin, which is primarily spoken in the Niger Delta region.

Pidgin English is interesting and funny if you know how to speak it.  If you want to say sumimasen in pidgin English, it depends on your creativity. Yes, you heard me right. Creativity!

Since there are no standards/rules on how to speak the language, you are free to be creative with your expression. However, make sure your listener understands you. Let me bust your brain( pidgin English).

How To Say sumimasen in Pidgin English 

I throw way salute: you should understand that most times, we don’t say thank you outright. We use gestures and words that befits our benefactor. In the case of a boss or senior colleague, you can say:

I loyal sir meaning am grateful.

You too much

The ideology is like when you are praising someone. So if free and be creative with your sumimasen.

When you want to say sorry, you can say:

No, vex / My head dey down.

For please, we say, I dey beg or are beg. 

Let’s say for example you offend someone and wants to apologise,  you say:

Are beg no vex meaning, please don’t be angry.

I want to make you laugh a bit. I will translate the lord’s prayer into pidgin English.

Our Father

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Pidgin Translation Of The Lord’s Prayer

Our papa whein dey for fine place.

I dey hail you. 

Your kingdom don come. 

Make everything whein you talk for heaven be the same for our ground. 

Give us the food whein we go chop today.

Nor vex for us for any bad thing whein we do.

Na so we no go vex for those people whein put sand sand for our garri.

Nor make us carry our leg go where wahala day. 

But carry us commot from where witche witche people dey.

Na for your kingdom you sit down.

The power and the glory na you get am. Forever and ever, AMEN.

 ( Composed by my humble self. Abigail Dolor representing theblackshome).

 4.  Yoruba

How to say sumimasen in Yoruba
Artists from Yoruba


West Africa is home to the Yoruba people. It runs from the north to the south, from a savanna (grassland) region to tropical rainforests. The majority of Yoruba people live in Nigeria. However, in Benin and Togo, there remain a few dispersed groups.

The Yoruba language is a member of the Congo-Kordofanian family of languages. Yoruba has several dialects, but its speakers are all able to communicate with one another.

Moreover, the Yoruba language is tonal. Depending on the pitch of the vowels, the identical combination of vowels and consonants has distinct meanings. (whether they are pronounced with a high voice or a low voice).

In Nigeria, the Yoruba language is spoken by around 21 million people (18.9 million as a first language and 2 million as a second). Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, and Lagos states, as well as parts of Kogi state, are the main places where this language is spoken.

Outside of Nigeria, Yoruba is extensively spoken. It, like the Igbo language, is widely spoken in abroad too. Thanks to Nigerian immigrants in the United Kingdom and the United States. As a result, Yoruba is the most widely spoken Nigerian language in the world.

How To Say Sumimasen In Yoruba

Ẹ jọ̀ọ́ means, please.

Pẹlẹ means I’m sorry and you can also say Ẹ má bínú’. Ẹ má bínú’ means don’t be angry.

Ẹ ṣé means thank you.

I hope you are learning some good African sumimaseen.

   5. Hausa

How to say sumimasen in Hausa
Hausa tribal men


The Hausa’s are one of West Africa’s major ethnic groups. With a population of about 30 million people. They are different people with comparable homogeneous beliefs and habits that are found only among them.

You can find the Hausa’s in northern Nigeria and the neighbouring south-eastern Niger. Cameroon, Ghana, Chad, Togo, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, and Gabon are among the nations where they live.

Between the Niger River and Lake Chad, the Hausa states, are also known as Hausaland. They were separate political entities created by the Hausa people. Until the mid-14th century, it was an isolated political unit with no central authority.

Again, they shared a common language, laws, and practices regardless of where they were stationed. Blacksmithing, fishing, hunting, agriculture, and salt mining were among the Hausa’s specialities. Kano, the most powerful city in the north by the 1500s, was a significant trading centre for ivory, gold, slave trade, salt, textiles, leather, and grains.

Similarly, they  were seen as loose unions by neighbouring towns. This is because of their lack of military skill and a central governing authority. Making them vulnerable to outsider dominance. All of the states remained independent until 1804-1815, when they were taken by Usman dan Fodio, a notable Islamic scholar, in a Holy Jihad (war) that established the Sokoto Caliphate.

When the British conquered the caliphate in 1903 and renamed the area Northern Nigeria, it was disbanded.

How To Say Sumimasen In Hausa

Na gode means thank you.

Don Allah means, please

Yi hakuri means sorry.

This is a tasking article I must confess. Just to say sumimasen, I have ended up learning five languages. Okay, onto our next sumimasen language.

  6.  Igbo

How to say thank you, please and sorry in igbo
Young Igbo Maiden


The Niger-Congo language family includes the Igbo language. It is classified into several regional dialects that are relatively interchangeable with the larger “Igboid” group. East and south of the Edoid and Idomoid groupings. West of the Ibibioid (Cross River) cluster, and the Igbo territory, crosses the lower Niger River.

Igbos are native to Nigeria’s numerous states. They are primarily found in the states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo. Delta and Rivers states have a large Igbo population. While Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Edo, and Kogi states have a small Igbo population.

Cameroon, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea, as well as other African countries, have large ethnic Igbo populations. The origins of the Igbo people have been the subject of much presumption, as it is unclear how the community came to be.

The Niger River divides the Igbo country into two unequal sections: an eastern (which is the bigger of the two) and a western piece. The Igbo people are one of Africa’s most populous ethnic groups.

In the twentieth century, Igbos were a politically divided tribe before British colonial authority. With a variety of centralized chiefdoms such as Nri, Aro Confederacy, Agbor, and Onitsha. Frederick Lugard established the Eze “warrant chiefs” system.

They were unaffected by the Fulani War and the subsequent growth of Islam in Nigeria in the 19th century.  As a result of colonization, they became largely Christian. The Igbo developed a strong sense of ethnic identity following decolonization.

The Igbo lands split from Nigeria was the short-lived Republic of Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967–1970.  The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, a sectarian group founded in 1999, is still fighting for an independent Igbo state using nonviolent means.

How To Say Sumimasen In Igbo

Daalu means thank you.

Ndo means sorry.

Biko means, please.

How To Say Sumimasen In South Africa Languages

How to say sumimasen in South African language
South Africa flag


Sepedi (also known as Sesotho sa Leboa), Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, and isiZulu are the 11 official languages recognized by the South African Constitution.

For centuries, the official languages of South Africa were Dutch, English, and Afrikaans. African languages, which are spoken by at least 80% of the population, were overlooked. South Africa’s new Constitution, enacted in 1996, guaranteed formal protection to all major languages.

There are around 34 historically established languages in South Africa. Thirty of the Khoesan languages are still spoken today, while four are extinct.

English is a commonly spoken urban language in the media, business, and government. A third (33%) of the 4.9 million South Africans who speak English as their native language are white. A quarter (24%) are black.  22% are Indian, and 19% are coloured South Africans.

English is frequently utilized as a second language and a widespread form of communication, particularly in urban areas.

South Africa’s nine official languages are all members of the Southern Bantu-Makua subfamily. Which is part of the larger Niger-Congo language family. The languages arrived during the eastward and southerly migration of Bantu-speaking people.

They migrated from West Africa into the remainder of the continent. The expansion started approximately 3000 BCE and was mostly finished by 1000 CE.

South Africans dialect are tonal languages, like the rest of the Niger-Congo family. A word’s meaning changes depending on whether it is spoken in a high or low tone.

A-List Of South Africa Language And How They Say Sorry, Thank you And Please

1. IsiZulu

How to say please, sorry and thank you in IsiZulu language
Zulu Maidens


The Zulu people call themselves ‘people of the heavens. They are South Africa’s largest ethnic group, with an estimated 10 million Zulu people living in KwaZulu-Natal. The  people’s language is isiZulu, and roughly ten million people speak it fluently. They amalgamated into a large kingdom in the nineteenth century, led by Shaka.

Shaka assumed leadership of the Zulu clan after his father, Senzangakhona, died. At the time, the Zulu clan numbered only 1 500 people. From 1816 through 1828, he commanded a 50-thousand-strong army (impi) that destroyed other tribes.

To beat the adversary, Shaka used a variety of military techniques. He invented the ‘Assegai,’ a short, large-bladed stabbing spear, as well as the fatal methods for wielding it. Shaka also ditched his leather sandals, which were obstructing his movements. He quickly established himself as a superb military leader and posed a threat to his clan.

He became insane after the death of his mother, Nandi. Shaka massacred hundreds of Zulu during his mourning.

The Zulu people, like many other civilizations, believe that life does not terminate with death but continues in the spiritual realm. Death is regarded as a person’s deeper bond with all of creation.

Every member of the Zulu tribe who dies must be buried traditionally. If the deceased is not properly buried, he or she may become a wandering ghost. As a rite, an animal is slaughtered. To aid them in their journey, the deceased’s items are buried with them.

How To Say Sumimasen In IsiZulu

Ngicela means, please.

Ngiyaxolisa means sorry.

Ngiyabonga means thank you.

I bet by now you are pro in African languages when saying sumimasen.

  2.   Xhosa

How to say sumimasen in Xhosa language
A Xhosa female musician


The Xhosa people are a Southern African Nguni ethnic group, whose territory is mostly in the modern-day Eastern Cape. In Zimbabwe, there is a small but important Xhosa-speaking (Mfengu) community.  isiXhosa is recognized as a national language in Zimbabwe.

Approximately 8 million Xhosa people live in South Africa. The Xhosa language is the country’s second-most-spoken native tongue, after the Zulu language, to which Xhosa is closely related.

The pre-1994 apartheid Bantustans regime suspended Xhosa South African citizenshipp. It gave them self-governing “homelands,” particularly Transkei and Ciskei, which are now both part of the Eastern Cape Province. This is where the majority of Xhosa live.

Tribes and clans make up the Xhosa nation. Clans are groups of families who share a common  name but have separate African last name and meanings. Radebe, for example, is the clan, whereas AmaHlubi is the nation. The clan name is derived from the name of the clan’s first ancestor or family. Tribes are made up of clans, and tribes are made up of nations.

How To Say Sumimasen In Xhosa

Ndicela means please.

Enkosi. or (‘Ndiyabulela’) means thank you.

Ndixolele means I’m sorry.

  3.  Afrikaans

How to say please, sorry and thank you in Afrikaans language
Afrikaans in South Africa


The Afrikaners are a South African ethnic group descended from Dutch, German, and French settlers to South Africa in the 17th century. When they came into contact with Africans and Asians, the Afrikaners gradually created their language and culture.

In Dutch, the word “Afrikaners” implies “Africans.” White people make up about 4 million of South Africa’s overall population of 56.5 million. (2017 statistics from Statistics South Africa). Yet it’s unclear whether they all identify as Afrikaners.

According to World Atlas, 61 per cent of white South Africans identify as Afrikaners. Despite their tiny numbers, Afrikaners have had a significant impact on the history of South Africa.

The Afrikaners are also referred to as “Boers,” which is a Dutch word that means “farmers.” The Europeans brought in enslaved individuals from locations like Malaysia and Madagascar. To help them with agriculture, while also enslaving certain native tribes like the Khoikhoi and San.

Apartheid was established in South Africa by Europeans in the twentieth century. In Afrikaans, the word “apartheid” denotes “separateness.”

Despite the fact that Afrikaners were the country’s minority ethnic group, the Afrikaner National Party took control of the government in 1948. Different races were rigidly segregated in order to prevent “less civilized” ethnic groups from participating in government.

Whites enjoyed far superior housing, education, jobs, transportation, and medical care than non-whites. Black people were denied the right to vote and were denied representation in government.

Other countries began to oppose apartheid after decades of injustice. When members of all ethnic groups were allowed to vote in the presidential election in 1994, the practice came to an end. Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa.

How To Say Thank You in Afrikaner

Jammer means sorry.

Asseblief means, please.

Dankie means thank you.


The word sumimasen means, please, sorry and thank you in the Japanese language.  However, we’ve been able to broaden the term by translating it into various African languages.

We discuss six languages in Nigeria and three languages in South Africa. Among the languages discussed are, Ijaw, Urhobo, Pidgin, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo.

In south Africa, we discuss languages like IsiZulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans.

Being polite at any given time and place is a best practice everyone should imbibe. Also, it is not so bad to learn sumimasen in other languages. It’s fun and exciting.

Please share, like, follow, and subscribe to our community if you enjoyed this content. It’ll be a pleasure to meet you. With that said, in my tribe, I say Whe kobiruo (thank you).

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