A collection of useful phrases in Sesotho (Southern Sotho) a language spoken in Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia.
Click on the English phrases to see them in many other languages.
Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).
|Welcome||Kena ka kgotso! (sg) Kenang ka kgotso! (pl)|
|Lumela; Dumela (sg) Dumelang (pl) Helele|
|How are you?
I'm fine, thanks. And you?
|O kae? (Where are you?)
O phela joang? (How are you living?)
|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?
My name is ...
|Lebitso la hao ke mang?|
|Lebitso laka ke ...|
|Where are you from?
I'm from ...
|O tswa kae?|
|Ke tswa ...|
|Pleased to meet you|
|Morning greeting(s)||Mmoro (sg) Mmorong (pl)|
|Evening greeting(s)/Nighttime parting phrase(s)||Fonane (sg) Fonaneng (pl)|
|Parting phrase(s)||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?|
|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?|
|Ke a leboha / Ke a leboha haholo|
|Where's the toilet?||Ntloana e kae? Batekamore e kae?|
|This gentleman/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!|
|Ke kopa thuso!
|Call the police!|
|Christmas and New Year greetings||Keresemese e monate le mahlohonolo a selemo se setjha|
|Birthday greetings||Letsatsi le monate la tswalo|
|One language is never enough|
|My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.