How to Say “Happy New Year” In 25 African Spoken Languages

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It’s almost a New Year and the perfect time to start planning your travel itinerary. As the clock strikes midnight, friends, couples, and families call out well wishes for a happy New Year.

If you intend to travel to any destinations in Africa in 2022, start by learning how to say ‘Happy New Year’ in their local dialect. We have compiled a list of ‘Happy New Year’ phrases in 25 different languages spoken in Africa. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

#1: Barka da sabon shekara (Hausa)

Hausa - one of the African spoken languages
Hausa men blowing trumpets for a traditional ceremony (Photo credit: Okan African Blog)

‘Barka da sabon shekara’ is the Hausa way of saying Happy New Year. The Hausa language is one of the main African spoken languages in the northern part of Nigeria. It is also the fifth-largest language on the African continent.

This language has more than 63 million speakers in Africa. Most Hausa speakers live in Northern Nigeria and the Southern Republic of Niger. The language is also popular in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Benin Republic, and Chad. Hausa originated from a dialect in Kano, Nigeria, where most of the Hausa native speakers are located.

#2: Heri ya mwaka mpya (Swahili)

The Swahili language - one of the African dialects
(Photo credit: Quizizz)

If you want to say Happy New Year in Swahili, it is ‘Heri ya mwaka mpya’. Interestingly, Swahili, or Kiswahili, is the fourth most spoken language in Africa. Swahili is a Bantu language spoken as the first language among the Swahili people in East Africa. The language has more than 100 million speakers in Africa. However, only 15 million people speak it as a first language.

Also, Swahili is the official language in Kenya, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Nevertheless, it is often spoken in countries like Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and the Comoro Islands.

 

 

#3: Ezi afọ ọhụrụ (Igbo)

The Igbo language - one of the African spoken dialects
(Photo credit: World Atlas)

Do you want to say Happy New Year to anyone in the Igbo language? Then say ‘ezi afọ ọhụrụ’. The Igbo language is one of the main African spoken languages in Nigeria. People that speak Igbo are called Ibo people, and they live in the southeastern part of Nigeria.

Furthermore, this language is the fifth most prominent language in Africa. It has official status in Equatorial Guinea, where it is recognized as a regional language. The Igbo language has more than 27 million speakers in Africa. Additionally, the Igbo language has more than 20 dialects, with Central Igbo being the most popular.

#4: E ku odun, eku iyedun (Yoruba)

The Yoruba people - One of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: AFKTravel)

You can say ‘e ku odun or eku iyedun’ if you want to wish someone a Happy New Year in the Yoruba language. The Yoruba language is one of the main languages in Nigeria, and it is also spoken in other West African countries. People who speak this language can also be found in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, and Sierra Leone. More than 39 people speak it as their first and second language.

#5: Barka be hitandere hesere (Fulani)

The Fulani language - one of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: National Daily Newspaper)

‘Barka be hitandere hesere’ means Happy New Year in the Fulani language. The Fulani language, also known as Fula, is a Senegambian language popularly spoken by more than 40 million Africans. Also, the dialect stretches across West and Central African countries. Fulani belongs to the Atlantic geographic group within Niger-Congo. Fula people speak Fulani from the Senegambia region and Guinea to Cameroon, Nigeria, and Sudan.

 

 

#6: Sanat jadidat saeida (Arabic)

The Arabic languages - One of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: Familiy- Love To Know)

Happy New Year in Arabic is ‘Sanat jadidat saeida’. The Arabic language is a Southern-Central Semitic language spoken in a large area, including North Africa, most of the Arabian Peninsula, and other regions in the Middle East.

It is essential to know that more than 20 million Arabic speakers are in Africa. The Arabic language is the official language of Algeria, Chad, Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia. It is also spoken in Tanzania, Western Sahara, and Somalia.

#7: Bonne année (French)

The French people -One of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: A Year In Fromage)

Bonne année, in French, means Happy New Year. French is a European language that was introduced to Africa through colonization. More than 115 million Africans speak French as their first or second language. The French language first originated in France. Some African countries speak French alongside their indigenous languages.

However, it has become the first language in some African countries, like Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Libreville, and Gabon. Other French countries include Togo, Senegal, Seychelles, Rwanda, Re-Union, Niger, Mali, Madagascar, Guinea, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Congo, DRC, Algeria, Chad, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Burundi.

#8: Baga Amata harayaan sii gahee (Oromo)

The Oromo people - One of the African dialects
(Photo credit: Aljazeera)

If you want to say Happy New Year in Oromo, it is ‘Baga Amata harayaan sii gahee’. Oromo is an Afroasiatic language that belongs to the Cushitic branch. It is a native language spoken in the Horn of Africa and some other countries like Ethiopia, Somalia, Egypt, and Kenya. Also, this language is the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia. Today, the Oromo language has over 24 million speakers in Africa.

#9: Asugas D Ameggaz (Berber)

The Berber -One of African dialects
(Photo credit: The National)

Happy New Year in Berber is ‘Asugas D Ameggaz’. It is important to know that Berber is Africa’s tenth most widely spoken language. However, this language is one of the 26 closely related African spoken languages that constitute a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language group.

Also, Berber is widely spoken by more than 15 million people in Northern Africa, throughout the Mediterranean coast, the Sahara desert, and the Sahel region. People who speak Berber can be found in Morocco, Algeria, Niger, Libya, a small group of people in Tunis, Egypt, and Burkina-Faso.

 

 

#10: Melikami ādīsi ‘ameti መልካም አዲስ ዓመት (Amharic)

The Amharic language
(Photo credit: ilumidAid)

In Amharic language Happy New Year is ‘melikami ādīsi’ ameti’. Amharic is the seventh most popular language in Africa. However, it is the second-largest semitic language in Africa, just behind Arabic. Amharic is widely spoken in Ethiopia, and today, it has more than 25 million speakers. Additionally, it is one of the very few languages with its alphabet.

#11: Gelukkige Nuwe Jaar (Afrikaans)

The Afrikaans
(Photo credit: The World)

“Gelukkige Nuwe Jaar” is Afrikaans for Happy New Year. Afrikaans is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa. This language is popularly spoken in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana. However, Afrikaans has more than 10 million native speakers in Africa.

#12: Jabulela unyaka omusha (Zulu)

Zulu people -One of African dialects
(Photo credit: Daily Sabah)

If you want to say Happy New Year in the Zulu language, you will say ‘Jabulela unyaka omusha’. The Zulu language is a Southern Bantu language of the Nguni branch spoken in South Africa. However, the Zulu language is one of the official African spoken languages in South Africa. It is also the language of the Zulu people, with about 12 million native speakers who primarily reside in the province of KwaZulu-Natal of South Africa.

#13:  Eƒé bé dzogbenyui nami (Ewe)

The Ewe language - one of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: BuzzGhana)

Happy New Year in Ewe is ‘Eƒé bé dzogbenyui nami’. The Ewe language is predominant in southern Ghana, the southern half of Togo, and southern Benin. However, the largest population of Ewe people is in Ghana, and the second-largest population is in Togo. Also, the Ewe language belongs to the Gbe family of languages.

 

 

#14: Mwaka mwerũ (Gikuyu)

The Gikuyu - One of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: AnswerAfrica)

‘Mwaka mwerũ’ means Happy New Year in Gikuyu. This language is one of the most popular African languages today, with more than 10 million speakers. However, the Gikuyu is widespread in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Gikuyu language is of the Bantu family.

#15: Nyak’omtsha (Xhosa)

The Xhosa language - one of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: African Safari)

If you want to say Happy New Year in Xhosa, you say ‘Nyak’omtsha’. Xhosa is one of the predominant African spoken languages in South Africa and Lesotho. This language is similar to the Zulu language. People who speak Xhosa are members of the Nguni ethnic group in Southern Africa, whose homeland is primarily within the modern-day Eastern Cape.

#16: Goredzva Rakanaka (Shona)

The Shona language - One of the spoken African languages
(Photo credit: Culture Trip)

If you want to say Happy New Year in Shona, it is ‘Goredzva Rakanaka’. The Shona language is a Bantu language of the Shona people. According to the Ethnologue, Shona, comprising the Zezuru, Korekore, and Karanga dialects, is spoken by more than 7 million people. Consequently, you can find people who speak Shona in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

#17: Aw ni san’kura (Bambara)

The Bambara - One of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: Trip Down Memory Lane)

‘Aw ni san’kura’ means Happy New Year in the Bambara language. Bambara, also known as Bamana or Bamanankan, is the official language of Mali. About 80% of the population of Mali speak Bambara as a first or second language.

 

 

#18: Mangui lay ndokkel ci att bu bess bi (Wolof)

The Wolof - One of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: Culture Trip)

If you want to say Happy New Year in Wolof, it is ‘Mangui lay ndokkel ci att bu bess bi’. Wolof is the official language of Senegal, the Gambia, and Mauritania, and is also the native language of the Wolof people. However, the Wolof people, primarily found in Senegal, constitute 40% of the population. Also, you can find people who speak Wolof in countries like Mali, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau.

#19:  Afehyia pa (Twi)

The Twi language - one of the African dialects
(Photo credit: Prime News Ghana)

Say “Afehyia pa” to your Twi friends if you wish them a Happy New Year. The Twi language is one of Ghana’s most famous African dialects. However, this language is also a dialect of the Akan people, the largest of the seventeen major ethnic groups in the southern part of Ghana.

#20: Itumelele ngwaga o mosha (Tswana)

The Tswana - One of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: Olatorera.com)

If you want to say Happy New Year in Tswana, it is ‘Itumelele ngwaga o mosha’. The Tswana language is a principal member of the Sotho-Tswana language group. You can find people who speak this language in Botswana and southern Africa. Interestingly, it is essential to know that ethnic Tswana make up about 85% of the Botswanan population. Also, there are more than 5 million Tswana native speakers in southern Africa today.

#21: Mbu mwa bwam (Duala)

The Duala - One of the African spoken languages
(Photo credit: World Atlas)

In Duala, if you want to say Happy New Year, you say ‘Mbu mwa bwam’. The Duala language is a dialect that spoken by the Duala people and Mungo people in Cameroon. Furthermore, it is one of the African spoken languages that belong to the Bantu language family, in a subgroup called Sawabantu.

 

 

#22: Mbembe mbu (Ewodo)

The Ewondo
(Photo credit: Trip Down Memory Lane)

‘Mbembe mbu’ means Happy New Year in Ewondo. The Ewondo language, popularly known as Kolo, is the language of the Cameroon people. The language has more than 2 million native speakers today. The Ewondo language is a Bantu language. Also, Ewondo speakers live primarily in Cameroon’s Centre Region and the northern part of the Océan Division in the South Region.

#23: Ilufio ètussé (kposo)

Kposo
(Photo credit: Psymposia)

‘Ilufio ètussé’ means ‘Happy New Year’ in Kposo. This language is the dialect of the Akposso people, mainly in the Plateau Region of Togo, west of Atakpamé, and eastern Ghana. Also, the Kposo language has more than 500,000 native speakers today.

#24: Bamba mbou (Fang)

Fang dialect
(Photo credit: watinyouknow.com)

If you want to say Happy New Year in Fang language, you will say ‘Bamba mbou’. Interestingly, the Fang language is a Central African dialect for more than a million people. Most of them are in Equatorial Guinea and northern Gabon.

#25: Bonana / Mobu elamu (Lingala)

Lingala people
(Photo credit: Welcometranslationexperts.com)

‘Bonana’ or ‘Mobu elamu’ means Happy New Year in Lingala, another popular Bantu language. Interestingly, more than 8 million people have Lingala as their lingua franca. You can find these people in the northern parts of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire). It is also the primary language of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lingala has more than 15 million native speakers.

 

 

Conclusion

That rounds up our list of ways to say ‘Happy New Year’ in different languages spoken in Africa. A warm greeting from the heart is not only a tradition but a mark of goodwill. Well, you can push your limit by learning other phrases in the dominant language of your chosen destination. So, where will your first destination be in the New Year? Please share with us in the comment box below. See the most spoken African language here.

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