Bambara text message abbreviations, slang and spelling

Hello I wanted to share a few words I learned to abbreviate in texts. Some of it is slang in fact.

  1. yfy = Y’a foye (Il y a foyi); “No problem” (lit. ‘There is nothing’)
  2. Olkd = O kelen do (O kelen don); literally, “That is one” but it often means “Yeah, that’s it, I agree”
  3. fpt : Faux pas teyi (Faux pas tɛ yen); literally, “There’s no false step”, which basically means “okay”.

And then there are short words often used in SMS/text messsages:

  1. odo = O don; That’s it / C’est ça / Yes / Right

I also learned that they will most likely write something like Tuma jumɛn? (‘Which time?’) this way:

Tuma jumai ? / Touma djumai ?

People just write the words as they sound so one person can write differently from another.

I will add a few more to the list whenever I find more.


I ni ce, Manci! Thanks so much for documenting and sharing what you’ve learned! I took the liberty of cleaning up the post a bit for clarity’s sake and added the standard spelling equivalents so that everything can be found via search.

I was familiar with the expressions, but not necessarily their abbreviations! :slight_smile:

I hadn’t thought of having part of the Forum useful for documenting this kind of thing. For now, I think it’s fine living uncategorized, but maybe eventually, we can make a category, because the normally the best practice for a Forum would be that one topic/question gets one post, but this is a little different.

In any case, please do post more and keep using the forum! Ala k’i sara!