Sourced from Wikivoyage. Text is available under the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.Zarma is the local language of southwestern Niger, including areas along the Niger River and in the Nigerien capital Niamey, and with 2 million speakers is the second-most spoken language in Niger after Hausa. Zarma is one of the dialects of the Songhay language and is mutually intelligible with Songhay dialects spoken in Eastern Mali.
Zarma uses the following letters of the Latin (Roman) alphabet: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, ɲ or ny, ŋ, o, p, r, s, t, u, w, y, z.
VowelsThere are ten vowels: /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/ and their nasalized counterparts which are denoted by either a tilde or a following 'n' or 'ŋ'.
BasicsKeep in mind that greetings are very important in this region, and greeting someone often involves a plethora of questions (how are you/your family/your health/your work/etc.?). For most of these you can just respond "Baani Samay", or "Taali si no."
; Hello. : Fo/Fofo. ( )
; Welcome. : Fo'ndakayan/Kubayni
; Hello, how are you?. (morning) : Aran kani baani?/Wor kani baani?. ( )
; Hello, how are you? (afternoon): Aran foy baani?/Wor hoy Baani?? ( ?)
; How is your family? : Mate fu?
; How is your health? : Mate ga ham?
; How is your work? : Mate goyo?
; How is the heat? : Mate doon'gay?
; Fine, thank you. (Response to all above questions): Sameyno/Baani Samey ( )
; No problems. ("Response to all above questions"): Taali si no
; I'm thankful (to God). ("Occasional response to above questions"): Ay g'Irkoy saabu
; What is your name? : Mateno ni ma/Mate ga ti ni ma/Mate ga ti ni mayo?? ( ?)
; My name is ______ . : Ay ma ga ti ____. ( _____ .)
; Nice to meet you. : . ( )
; Please. : Alhanan. ( )
; I want cold water/Give me cold water. : Ay ga ba haari yeno/Ay no hari yeno (" ")
; Thank you. : Fofo. ( )
; You're welcome. : A sinda hay fo. ( )
; Yes. : Ah'hoh. ( )
; No. : Ha'a. ( )
; Excuse me. (getting attention) : Alhanan. ( )
; Excuse me. (begging pardon) : . ( )
; I'm sorry. : Alhanan. ( )
; Goodbye : Kala tonton. ( )
; Goodbye (until the following day) : kala han fo. ( )
; Until tomorrow. : kala souba.
; I can't speak Zarma (lit. I do not understand Zarma). : Ay sii ma Zarma. ( )
; Do you speak French? : Ni ga ma faransi ciine?/Ni ga ma faransi saani? ( ?)
; Is there someone here who speaks French? : Boro go no kan ga ma faransi saani? ( ?)
; Help! : Ay gaakasinay! ( !)
; Look out! : Haggoy fa! ( !)
; Good morning. : Aran kani baani?/kanibaani. ( )
; Good afternoon. : Aran foy baani ?/Hoybaani. ( )
; Good evening. : Matey aran wichira ?. ( )
' Good night. : Cino ma boori
; Good night (lit. Sleep well.) : Iri ma kani baani. ( )
; I don't understand. : ay sii ga faham. ( )
; Where is the toilet? : Man no koso(ndo) go/Man no salan'ga/Man no dusero go? ( ?)
; I'm going to go out. : ay go koy
; I'm going to return. : ay ga ye ga ka
; Quitely, a little. : Moso moso/kayna kayna/A fofo
; Stranger. (European) : Annasara
; Guest. : Yaw
; Small. : Kayna
; Large/big. : Ber/Beri/Iberi
; OK. : Toh.
; Go away! : Wa koy!!
; Don't touch me! : Wa si lambay ga!
I'll call the police! : Ay ga polisay ce!; Police! : Polici!
; Stop! : Wa di Zay!
Help me, please. : Wa'y faba!; It's an emergency! : Cahakomey wonno!
; I'm lost. : Ay darey no.
; I've lost my . : Ay no darey.
; I'm sick. : Ay go ga ma Doori.
; I'm hurt. : Ay marey no.
; I need a doctor. : Logotoro no ay ga ba.
; May I use your telephone? : Ay ga hini ga goy da ni talfono?
; Go! : Ir ma koy!
; Quickly! : Waasi!
; 1 : Ifo/Afo
; 2 : Ihinka
; 3 : Ihinza
; 4 : Itaci
; 5 : Igu
; 6 : Iddu
; 7 : Iyye
; 8 : Ihaku/Ahaku
; 9 : Iyagga/Egga
; 10 : Iway
; 11, 12, 13, etc. : Iway cind' (example: 11 is Iway cind'ifo)
; 20 : Waranka
; 21 : Waranka cind'ifo
; 30 : waranza
; 40 : waytaci
; 50 : waygu
; 60 : waydu
; 70 : wayadu
; 80 : wahakku
; 90 : wayagga
; 100 : zangu
; 200 : Zangu hinka
; 300 : Zangu hinza
; 1000 : Zanbar fo
; 2000 : Zanbar hinka
; 1,000,000 : Milyo fo
; Number ___ (train, bus) : lamba ___ (Zirjo, Karo)
; Half. : Jare
; Now. : Sohon
; Late. : Da tonton
; Before. : Halaga
; Morning. (after sunrise) : Susubey
; In the morning. : Susuba ra
; Afternoon. : Zaari/Alula
; Evening. (before sunset) : Alasar
; Evening. (after sunset) : Almari
; In the evening. : Almaro ra
; Night. : cinci
Clock timeThe 12-hour clock is used.
; 1 o'clock : Guru fo
; 2 o'clock : Guru hinka
; 9 o'clock (lit. morning hour nine) : Susubey guru yegga
; noon : midi (French loan word)
; 13.00 (lit. afternoon hour one) : Zaaro guru fo
; 18.00 (lit. evening hour six): Wicirkanbu guru iddu
; Midnight : minuit (French loan word)
; 7.30 : Guru egga nda jere
Duration; ___ minutes : ___ Minti
; ___ hours : ___ guru
; ___ days : ___ zaari
; ___ weeks : ___ habu
; ___ months : ___ handu
; ___ years : ___ jiiri
; weekly : habou ga ka habu
; monthly : habou ga ka handu
; yearly : Jiiri ga ka Jiiri
; today : Honzaari/Honkuna
; yesterday : Bi
; tomorrow : Suba
; this week : habo wo
; last week : habo kan bisa
; next week : habo kan go ka
; Sunday : Alhadi
; Monday : Atinni
; Tuesday : Atalata
; Wednesday : Alarba
; Thursday : Alkamisa
; Friday : Alzuma
; Saturday : Asibti
Many do not understand the Gregorian calendar and/or may use the Islamic calendar. The Gregorian calendar is thought of as "French" and, among those who do, the names of French months (in parentheses) are more readily understood.
; January : X (Janvier)
; February : X (Fevrier)
; March : X (Mars)
; April : X (Avril)
; May : X (Mai)
; June : X (Juin)
; July : X (Juillet)
; August : X (Aout)
; September : X (Septembre)
; October : X (Octobre)
; November : X (Novembre)
; December : X (Decembre)
Writing time and date
; Black : Biiri (black person: Borobi)
; blanc : Ikwaray (white person: Gakwaray)
; grey : X
; rrd : Cirey
; bue : Boogu
; yellow : Sey
; green : Yargey
; orange : X
; purple : X
; brown : X
Bus and Train; How much is a ticket to ____ ? : X ____ ?
; A ticket to ____, please. : X ____ X.
; Where does this bus go? : Man no zirjo ga koy ?
; How do I get to ____ ?: Man no ____ go?
; The bus arrives here at ____ ?: Man no ____ ga koy ?
; When does the bus for ___ leave? :waatifo no zirjo/kaaro kan ga koy _____ ga tun?
; When will the bus arrive at _____ ? : Waatifo no zirjo/kaaro ga to _____ ?
Directions; Where is _____ ? ? : Man no _____ go ?
; ...la gare routière ? : X
; ...the airport ? : Bene hiyey zumbuyoNo do
; ...downtown? : X
; ...the neighborhood ? : X
; ...the youth hostel ? : X
; ...the hotel _____ ? : X
; ...the American/British/Canadian/Australian embassy? : ?
; Can you show me on the map the ? : X
; road : X
; Turn left : X.
; Turn right. :X.
; left : KanbaNari
; right :Kanbouwo
; straight ahead : X
; In the direction of _____ : X _____
; After the _____ : Banba _____
; Before the _____ : Djiné_____
; North : AZawaKanbé
; South : Dandikanbé
; East : Weynofounay
; West : WeynokaNay
; Above : bene
; Below : ganda
Taxi; Taxi! : X !
; Take me to ___, please. : X _____ X
; How much does it cost to travel to _____? : X _____ ?
; Take me there, please : X
; Do you have this in my size ? : X
; How much does this cost ? : Marje no wone?
; That's very expensive ! : A tada gumo!
; Do you accept _____? : Ni yadda _____?
; expensive : Cada
; cheap : Habo ma boori
; I cannot pay for that. : Ay si hini ga a bana
; Je n'en veux pas : Ay si bara.
; You've mistaken me. : X
; I'm not interested. : A mana ay bejandi
; Good, I will buy that. : A boori, ay ga sambu
; I would like to have a bag ? : Ay ga du saaku fo?
; I need... : Ay ga ba
; ...toothpaste.: hinge safun
; ...a toothbrush. : hinge borosu fo
; ...tampons. : tampon
; ...soap. : Safun
; ...shampoo. : Sampo
; ...a pain reliever (aspirin, ibuprofen) : X.
; ...a cold medicine. : Hungum safari.
; ...stomach medicine. : X
; ...a razer. : Laamu fo (biledu)
; ...batteries. : Piili
; ...a raincoat : Layma.
; ...an umbrella : Layma
; ...sunscreen. : X
; ...a postcard. : Karte postal
; ...postage stamps. : Tambre
; ...letter paper. : wasikahatuniyan takarda
; ...a pen. : Bikki fo
; ...French-language books. : Fransiciine tiraya
; ...a French-language newspaper. : Fransiciine labaari tira fo
; ...a French-___ dictionary. : Fransiciine-da-___ciine kamusu fo
; I would like to rent a car : Ay ga ba ay ma lue moto fo.
; I can be assured) ? : X
; stop (on a sign) : stop
; yield : X
; parking prohibited : X
; speed limit : X
; gas/petrol station : staso
; gasoline/petrol : Esensi
; diesel : gazual
; I didn't do anything wrong.. : Ay mana taali kulu te
; It's a mistake. : Darayyan no te.
; Where are you taking me ? : Man no aran go ga konda ay?
; Am I under arrest ? : X
; I am a (French) citizen. : Ay wo fanransi laabize no.
; I want to go to the (French) embassy. : ay ga hagu ay ma salan france ambassado se
; I would like to speak to a lawyer. : Ay ga ba ay ma salan ay avoka se
; Can I simply pay a fine? : ay ga hini ga bana jukkeyan nooru hine?