Useful Shona phrases

A collection of useful phrases in Shona. Click on the English phrases to see them in many other languages.

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

EnglishchiShona (Shona)
WelcomeMauya
HelloMhoro (sg) Mhoroi (pl)
How are you?
I'm fine, thanks. And you?
Wakadini zvako? (sg) Makadini zvenyu? (pl)
Ndiripo
Long time no seeKo, vemakore!
What's your name?
My name is ...
Unonzani? (sg) Munonzani? (pl)
Ndinonzi... / Zita rangu i.....
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
Unobva kupi? (sg) Munobva kupi?? (pl)
Ndinobva ku...
Pleased to meet youNdafara kukuziva (sg) Ndafara kukuzivai (pl)
Good morningMangwanani / Mangwanani, marara sei? (reply)
Good afternoonMasikati / Masikati, maswera sei? (reply)
Good eveningManheru / Maswera sei (reply)
Good nightUrare zvakanaka (sg) Murare Zvakanaka (pl)
GoodbyeSara Zvakanaka (sg) Sariayi Zvakanaka (pl)
Good luckUve nemhanza yakanaka (sg)
Muve nemhanza yakanaka (pl)
Have a nice dayUve nezuva rakanaka (sg) Muve nezuva rakanaka (pl)
Bon appetitPamusoroyi
Bon voyageUfambe zvakanaka (sg) Mufambe zvakanaka (pl)
I don't understandHandisi kunyaso nzwisisa
Please speak more slowlyNdinokumbirawo kuti musakurumidze kutaura
Please say that againNdinokumbirawo kuti muzvitaure futi
Please write it downNdinokumbirawo kuti muzvinyore pasi
Do you speak ...?Unotaura ...? (sg) Munotaura ...? (pl)
Excuse mePamusoro (sg) Pamusoroyi (pl)
How much is this?Chinoita marii?
SorryNdineurombo
Thank you
Response
Waita zvako (sg) Maita zvenyu (pl)
Unotendei? / Zvakanaka
Where's the toilet?Chimbuzi chiripi?
This gentleman/lady will pay for everythingBaba ava ndivo vachabhadhara (gentleman)
Amai ava ndivo vachabhadhara (lady)
Would you like to dance with me?Ungande kutamba? (sg) Mungade kutamba? (pl)
I love youNdinokuda
Get well soonNdinovimba kuti uchakurumidza kupora (sg)
Ndinovimba kuti muchakurumidza kupora (pl)
Leave me alone!Ndisiye!!
Help!
Fire!
Stop!
Ndibatsireiwo!
Moto!
Mira!
Call the police!Daiidzayi mapurisa!
Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year
Muve nekisimusi ne goredzva zvakanaka
One language is never enoughRurimi rumwe haruzadzikisa mutauro
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
Hovercraft yangu yakazara nemikunga

Shona phrases provided by Emma Thembani and Paida Magiga

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

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