Useful phrases in Tswana

A collection of useful phrases in Tswana. You can see them in many other languages by clicking on the English versions.

Notes: sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person). The words rra (sir) and mma (madam) are used in formal phrases.

English Setswana (Tswana)
Welcome O amogetswe (sg) Le amogetswe (pl)
Hello Dumela
How are you?


Reply
O tsogile jang? Le kae? (sg)
Le tsogile jang? (pl)
Ke tsogile sentle / Re teng (sg)
Re tsogile sentle (pl)
Long time no see Ke kgale re sa bonane
What's your name?

My name is ...
Leina le gago ke mang? (frm)
O mang? (inf)
Leina la me ke ...
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
Ko gae ke kae?
Ke tswa ko ...
Pleased to meet you Ke itumelela go goitsi
Good morning Dumêla rra/mma (frm)
Good afternoon Thupama e e monate
Good evening Muitsibowa a a monate
Good night Borôkô! Robala sentle (sleep well)
Goodbye Tsamaya sentle (Go well - said to the those leaving)
Sala sentle (Stay well - said to the those staying)
Go siame / Ke tla go bona (see you)
Ke tla go bôna kamoso (see you tomorrow)
Ke tla go bôna kgantele (see you later)
Good luck Masego ke ao / o nne le masego
Cheers/Good health! Pholo e ntle!
Have a nice day Tlhôla sentle
Bon appetit Itumelele dijo
Bon voyage Tselatshweu
I understand Ke a tlhaloganya
I don't understand Ga ke tlhaloganye
I don't know Ga ke itse sepe
Please speak more slowly Bua ka bonya
Please say that again Ke kopa o boeletse gape
Please write it down Ke kopa o e kwale fa fatshe
Do you speak Tswana?
Yes, a little
A o bua Setswana?
Ee, fela ga nnyane
How do you say ... in Tswana? Wa bo o reng ... ka Setswana?
Excuse me Intshwarele
How much is this? E ke bokae?
Sorry Ke kopa tshwarelo
Please Tswêê-tswêê
Thank you

Response
Ke a leboga, rra/mma
Ke itumetse, rra/mma
Ke itumetse, rra/mma
Where's the toilet? Ntlwana ya boitiketso e kae?
This gentleman/lady
will pay for everything
Lekau / Lekgarebe le le tsile go duela tsotlhe
Would you like to
dance with me?
A ga o batle go bina?
I miss you Ke go gopotse
I love you Ke a go rata
Get well soon O fole ka potlako
Go away! Tsamaya kusa!
Leave me alone! Ntlogele!
Help!
Fire!
Stop!
Nthuse!
Molelo!
Ema!
Call the police! Bitsa mapodisi!
Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year
Keresemose e e monate le ngwaga o o itumedisang
Happy Easter Malatsi a paseka aa itumedisang
Happy Birthday Letsatsi la tswalo lele monate
One language
is never enough
Laleme le le lengwe ga le a lekanela
My hovercraft
is full of eels

What!? Why this phrase?
Mokoro wa me o tletse ditlhapi

Tswana phrases and corrections provided by Peter Ndukulu, with additional phrases from Kgamanyane Ntsie

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

Information about Tswana

Links

Other collections of Tswana phrases
http://hope4kalahari.org/?page_id=116
http://multimedia.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/audio/languagelessons/botswana/Bw_Setswana_Language_Lessons.pdf

Phrases in Niger-Congo languages

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

Phrases in other languages


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