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Useful Sesotho phrases

A collection of useful phrases in Sesotho (Southern Sotho) a language spoken in Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia.

To see these phrases in many other languages click on the English versions.

Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).

English seSotho (Sesotho)
Welcome Kena ka kgotso! (sg) Kenang ka kgotso! (pl)
(General greeting)
Lumela; Dumela (sg) Dumelang (pl) Helele
How are you? O kae? (Where are you?)
O phela joang? (How are you living?)
Reply to 'How are you?' Ke teng, wena o kae? (I'm here, where are you?)
Ke phela hantle, wena o phela jwang? (I'm living fine, how are you living?)
Long time no see
What's your name? Lebitso la hao ke mang?
My name is ... Lebitso laka ke ...
Where are you from? O tswa kae?
I'm from ... Ke tswa ...
Pleased to meet you
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Mmoro (sg) Mmorong (pl)
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Fonane (sg) Fonaneng (pl)
Good night Fonane (sg) Fonaneng (pl)
(Parting phrases)
Sala hantle (to person staying)
Tsamaya hantle (to person leaving)
Good luck Ke u lakaletsa lehlohonolo
(Toasts used when drinking)
Have a nice day
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
O tsamaye hantle; Tsela tsweu (white road)
I don't know Ha ke tsebe
I don't understand Ha ke utlwisise
Please speak more slowly
Please say that again
Please write it down
Do you speak Sesotho? O a bua Sesotho? Na o a bua Sesotho?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Do you speak English? O a bua Senyesemane? Na o a bua Senyesemane?
How do you say ... in Sesotho?
Excuse me Ntshwarele; Ntsoarele
How much is this? Ke bokae?
Sorry Ntshwarele
Thank you Ke a leboha / Ke a leboha haholo
Reply to thank you O amohetswe
Where's the toilet? Ntloana e kae? Batekamore e kae?
This gentleman will pay for everything
This lady will pay for everything
Would you like to dance with me?
I love you Ke a o rata
Get well soon
Leave me alone! Ntohelle kele notsi!
Help! Ke kopa thuso!
Stop! Ema!
Call the police!
Christmas and New Year greetings Keresemese e monate le mahlohonolo a selemo se setjha
Easter greetings
Birthday greetings Letsatsi le monate la tswalo
One language is never enough
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?

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Information about Southern Sotho / Sesotho | Sesotho phrases | Tower of Babel in Sesotho


Other collections of Sesotho phrases

Phrases in Niger-Congo languages

Ewe, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Lozi, Ndebele (Northern), Northern Sotho, Sesotho, Shona, Swahili, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Wolof, Xhosa, Yorùbá, Zulu

Phrases in other languages