There are more than 370 languages in Nigeria, in three main groups: Western Sudanic, Niger Volta and Central Sudanic. The three officially recognized regional languages are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. About 65% of the population speak one of these languages. Hausa is widely spoken in the north, Igbo in the southeast and Yoruba in the west.

 In the past many languages had no written forms, so people used symbols to communicate. For example, the peregun tree indicates a sacred site or shrine. Palm fronds across the road is a warning about restricted movement. A yellow palm frond tied on a vehicle signifies the presence of a dead body. The "talking drums" in Nigeria are used to imitate speech, convey messages, recite history and sing praises to a chief. Numbers have special meanings among the Yoruba. 

English is the official language of Nigeria, but local languages are used for local radio broadcasts. A West African indigenous version of English called "Pidgin English" is very popular among Nigerians. In Pidgin English, for example, "I don go" means "I will go" or "I am going." 

Most Nigerian languages use expressions of respect for older persons. Methods of greeting elders, parents and teachers vary among ethnic groups; but generally this involves head bowing if the greeter is male and knee bending if the greeter is female.

 Did you know? 
It is considered bad manners to receive anything with the left hand. Usually gifts are received with both hands.
English Yoruba Hausa Igbo
Yes Be ni I Eh
No Oti A'a Mba
Please E Jo Don Allah Biko
Thank you E se Na gode Imeena
Good morning E k'aro Barkara da safe Ibolachi
Good night O d'aro Mu kwana lafiya Kachi bo or kodiechi