A collection of useful phrases in Tsonga, a Bantu language spoken mainly in South Africa, and also in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
Click on any of the phrases that are links (blue) to hear them spoken. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.
To see these phrases in many other languages click on the English versions. If you'd like to see these phrases in any combination of two languages, try the Phrase Finder.
Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person)
|Hello (General greeting)||Xewani
|Hello (on phone)|
|How are you?||Kunjhani? (sg)
|Reply to 'How are you?'||Ni kona
Ndzi kona ndza nkhensa
|Long time no see|
|What's your name?||Hi wena mani vito?
Hi wena mani vito ra wena? (frm))
U wa ka mani xivongo? (What is your surname?)
|My name is ...||Hi mina ...
Vito ra mina i...
|Where are you from?||U huma kwihi? (sg)
Mi huma kwihi? (pl)
|I'm from ...||Ndzi huma e ...|
|Pleased to meet you||Ni tsakele ku ku tiva (sg)
Ni tsakele ku mi tiva (pl/frm)
|Good night||U etlela kahle (sg - sleep well)
Mi etlela kahle (pl)
|Sala kahle (sg - to person staying)
Salani kahle (pl/frm - to person staying)
Famba kahle (sg - to person leaving)
Fambani kahle (pl/frm - to person leaving)
|Good luck!||Ndzi ku navelela mikateko|
|Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
|Have a nice day||U va ni siku lerinene (sg)
Mi va ni siku lerinene (pl)
|Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
|Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
|Famba hi ku rhula!|
|I understand||Na swi twisisa|
|I don't understand||A ni swi twisisi|
|I don't know||A ndzi tivi|
|Please speak more slowly||Vulavula hi ku nonoka u nga hatlisi|
|Please say that again||Ni kombela u vula sweswo nakambe|
|Please write it down||Swi tsale ehansi|
|Do you speak English?||Xana wa xitiva Xinghezi ke?|
|Do you speak Tsonga?||Xana wa xitiva Xitsonga ke?|
|Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
|Speak to me in Tsonga|
|How do you say ... in Tsonga?||Hi Xitsonga u ri yini loko u ku ...?|
|Excuse me||Ndzi khomeleni|
|How much is this?||Xana i malimuni?
Xi durha malimuni?
|Sorry||Ndzi kombela ku khomeriwa|
|Thank you||Ndza nkhensa
Ndzi khense ngopfu
|Reply to thank you||U amukelekile (sg)
Mi amukelekile (pl/frm)
|Where's the toilet?||Xana xi kumeka kwihi xihambukelo?|
|This gentleman will pay for everything|
|This lady will pay for everything|
|Would you like to dance with me?|
|I miss you|
|I love you||Ndza ku rhandza|
|Get well soon|
|Leave me alone!|
|Call the police!||Vitanani maphorisa!|
|Christmas and New Year greetings||A ku vi Khisimusi lerinene naswona a ku vi lembe lerintshwa lerinene|
|Birthday greetings||Ndzi tlangela siku ro velekiwa|
|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.
Other collections of Tsonga phrases
Bemba, Chichewa, Efik, Ewe, Herero, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Lozi, Luganda, Mossi, Ndebele (Northern - South Africa), Ndebele (Northern - Zimbabwe), Ndebele (Southern) Nkore, Northern Sotho, Sesotho, Shona, Swahili, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Wolof, Xhosa, Yorùbá, Zulu