Useful phrases in Bambara

A collection of useful phrases in Bambara (Bamanankan), a Mande language spoken in Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ghana.

Jump to phrases

See these phrases in any combination of two languages in the Phrase Finder. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

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

Phrase Bamanankan (Bambara)
Welcome Idanse
I ni sɛ
I bisimila (sg)
Aw bisimila (pl)
Hello (General greeting) I ni ce (sg)
Aw ni ce (pl)
Hello (on phone)
How are you? I ka kεnε wa? (sg)
Aw ka kεnε? (pl)
Aw ka kεnε wa? (pl)
Reply to 'How are you?' Kεnε
Tɔɔrɔ te
Ko tε
Tana tε
Long time no see
What's your name? I tɔgɔ? (Whats your first name?)
I jamu? (Whats your surname?)
My name is ... Ne tɔgɔ ...
Ne jamu ...
Where are you from? I bɛ bɔ min?
I'm from ... N bɛ bɔ ...
Pleased to meet you
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
I ni sɔgɔma (sg)
Aw ni sɔgɔma (pl)
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
I ni tile (sg)
Aw ni tile (pl)
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
I ni wula (sg)
Aw ni wula (pl)
Good night I ni su (sg)
Aw ni su (pl)
Ka su hεεrε
Ka dugu n'yumanjé
(Parting phrases)
K'an bεn (inf)
N taara
Good luck!
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Have a nice day Da no nkɔ yie mma wo!
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
K'i ni hɛrɛ bɛn
Ka su maya aw kono
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Ka taa ni ka segin nɔgɔya
Ka sira diya (Have a good trip)
Ka se n'i nyuman ye (May you arrive well)
Ka segin n'i nyuman ye (May you return well)
Yes Awɔ
No Ayi
Maybe A dɔ la
I don't know N t'a don
Do you understand?
I understand
I don't understand N m'a faamu
N t'a faamu
N t'a mɛn
Please speak more slowly A fɔ dɔɔni dɔɔni
Please say that again Segin a kan
A fɔ tuguni
Ɲɛ n ma i ka segin a kan
Please write it down I bɛ se ka ɲɛ n ma k’a sɛbɛn n ye wa?
Do you speak English? I bε angilekan men wa?
Do you speak Bambara? I bε bamanankan men wa?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Do you speak a language
other than
Speak to me in Bambara
How do you say ... in Bambara? Nin bɛ fɔ cogodi bamanankan na?
Excuse me Hakεto!
Aw ye hakεto!
How much is this? Nin ye joli ye?
Sorry A yafa n ma
Hakɛto m'a famu
Please Hakɛto
Thank you I ni ce (sg)
Aw ni ce (pl)
I ni baraji (sg)
Aw ni baraji (pl)
Reply to thank you Basi tε (No problem)
Where's the toilet / bathroom? Ɲεgεn bε min?
This gentleman will pay for everything
This lady will pay for everything
Would you like to dance with me?
Do you come here often?
I miss you I nyɛnafin bɛ n’na
I love you M'bi fe
Get well soon
Go away! Fara n na sa!
Leave me alone! N bila sa!
N bila!
N bolo bila!
N to n bolo ma!
Help! N deme!
Stop! I jɔ!
Call the police!
Christmas greetings I ni san kura (sg)
Aw ni san kura (pl)
Noɛli hɛrɛ ani
New Year greetings Hnit thit ku mingalar pa
Kura hɛrɛ
Easter greetings Paki seli hɛrɛ
Birthday greetings Sanbε sanbε
One language is never enough
My hovercraft is full of eels

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

Information about Bambara | Phrases | Numbers


Other collections of Bambara phrases

Phrases in Mande languages

Bambara, Loma, Vai

Phrases in other languages


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:


SpanishPod101 - learn Spanish for free

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Note: all links on this site to, and are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.

Get a 30-day Free Trial of Amazon Prime (UK)