How to say ‘I Love You’ in 50 African languages

Farida Dawkins February 14, 2018
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Valentine’s day is upon us and this is the day designated for us to go all out and show our loved ones how special they are to us. Why not surprise your mate or significant other by saying “I love you” in another language? Here are some ways to do that in various African languages as documented by Above Whisper.

Ko Kicinio

In the Afar language, Ko Kicinio is the term used to express love.  It is spoken in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti.

Ek’s lief vir jou / Ek het jou life

Afrikaans is spoken in South Africa and Namibia.

Mi dowapaa

Twi is one of several languages spoken in Ghana.

Afekirishalehu (feminine), afekirhalehu (masculine)

Amharic is also spoken in Ethiopia.

Ana uħibbuk – said to a male, ana baħibbik – said to a female

Arabic is spoken in Algeria, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, and Western Sahara.

M’bi fe

Bambara is spoken in Mali.


The Bemba language is spoken in Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Congo.

Lakh tirikh

Berba is used in Algeria.


The Chichewa/Chewa language, also referred to as Nyanja, is spoken Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Me lonwo

The Ewe language is spoken in Ghana, Togo, and Benin.

Ma dzing wa / ma gnôre wa

The Ewondo or Kolo language is spoken in Cameroon and Gabon.  Ewondo has several dialects to include Badjia (Bakjo), Bafeuk, Bamvele (Mvele, Yezum, Yesoum), Bane, Beti, Enoah, Evouzok, and Fong. The Beti-Pahuin are a tribe located in the rainforests of Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and São Tomé and Príncipe; there are distinct clans within the tribe. However, they share the same language; they also speak Yaunde Fang; which is a dialect of Kolo.

Je t’aime

Some profess French to be the official language of romance.  Apart from France and other regions, it is a language spoken in the following African countries: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote D’Ivore, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo, and Tunisia.

Mi yidi ma

The Fula or Fulani language is used widely in Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Cameroon, and Mauritania due to the Fula’s nomadic trait.

Nkwagala Nyo

The Ganda or Luganda dialect is spoken in Uganda.


In Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda the Gikuyu/Kikuyu language is used.

Ina Sonki

Hausa originates from Nigeria, nevertheless, it is spoken in Niger, Ghana, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon as well.

A hurum gi nanya

Igbo is used in Nigeria.


The Kamba language is spoken in Kenya.

Nya Raakna

The Kanuri language is used amongst the inhabitants of Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.


Kirundi/Kinyarwanda is spoken in Rwanda and Burundi.

Mono ke zola nge

The Kikongo/Kongo language is spoken in Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and the Republic of the Congo.

Nalingi yo

The Lingala dialect is used Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of the Congo.


Luo is spoken in Tanzania and Kenya.

Ndi mukusua

The people of Democratic Republic of the Congo use Luba-Kasai/Tshiluba to express their affection.

Tiako ianao

Malagasky is spoken in Madagascar.

Ni bi fe

The Gambians also speak Malinke.

Nye kanu laye

The Mandingo/Mandinka language is spoken in Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, and Chad.

Cale sa duie ca upeif

The Mende language is used in Sierra Leone.

Mi ndigui

The Moore/Dagbani language is spoken in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, and Mali.


The Ndebele dialect is used in Zimbabwe.


The Nyanja language is spoken in Zambia.

Ani sin Jaaladha

The Oromo language is used in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya.

Ondi ku hole

The Oshiwambo language is spoken in Angola and Namibia.

Amo te

Portuguese can be heard in Angola, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Sao Tome and Principe.

Mbe de yid ma

Pular is spoken in Guinea.

Ni u rondi

Puni is spoken in Gabon as well.

Mbi yé mô

Some inhabitants of Central African Republic speak Sango.

Ke a go rata

Setswana/Tswana is spoken in Botswana.


Shona is used in Zimbabwe and Zambia.


The people of Swaziland speak SiSwati.

Wa ku jeelahay

The Somali language is spoken in Somalia.

Ke a o rata

In Lesotho, Sesotho is spoken.

Iran fan ma

Sossou is used in Guinea.

Te Quiero

Spanish is spoken throughout Equatorial Guinea, Morocco, and Western Sahara.

Itogwa benekele ne benekele

In Tanzania the Sakuma/Nyamwezi language is used.

Ninakupenda/Begg naa la (widely used)

Swahili is spoken in Burundi, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Ana enti efete

Tigre is spoken in Eritrea.

Y’fetwekum e’ye

The Tigrinya language is used in Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Na ku rhandza

The Tsonga language is used South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

Na lia

In Liberia and Sierra Leone the language spoken is Vai.

Nopp naa la

Wolof is spoken widely throughout Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania.

Ndiya kuthanda

The Xhosa language is used in South Africa and Lesotho.

Mo nifẹẹ rẹ

The Yoruba tribe is spoken in Benin and Nigeria.


And finally, the Zulu language can be heard in South Africa and Lesotho.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: June 19, 2018


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