Useful phrases in Bemba

A collection of useful phrases in Bemba (Chibemba), a Bantu language spoken in Zambia, Congo and Tanzania.

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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: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).

Phrase Chibemba (Bemba)
Welcome Mwaiseni
Hello (General greeting) Shani
Ulishani (inf)
Mulishani (frm)
Mwapoleni mukwai
Eya mukwai (reply)
Hello (on phone)
How are you? Ulishani? (inf)
Mulishani? (frm)
Ifintu filishani? (How are things?)
Mwashibukashaani? (How did you sleep?)
Mwabombashaani? (How has work been?)
Reply to 'How are you?' Ndi bwino, ngaiwe?
Bwino, ngaiwe?
Long time no see Mwa monekeni mukwai
What's your name? Niwe nani?
Nimwe bani ishina?
My name is ... Nine ... Ishina lyandi ni ...
Where are you from? Wafumakwisa?
I'm from ... Nafuma ku ...
Pleased to meet you Natemwa paku kwishiba
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Mwaikaleni
'Mwaombeni
Mwashibukeni
Eya mukwai (reply)
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Cungulo mukwai
Mwaikaleni
'Mwaombeni
Mwashibukeni
Eya mukwai (reply)
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Chungulopo mukwai
Eya mukwai (reply)
Good night Sendamenipo
Goodbye
(Parting phrases)
Shaleenipo
Twalamonana (See you later)
Tukamonana mailo (See you tomorrow)
Good luck!
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Chileshe!
Have a nice day Tandalenipo umutende
Bombenipo umutende
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Mwende bwino!
Yes Ee
No Awe
Maybe Limbi
I don't know Nshishibe
I understand Na mona
Na umfwa
I don't understand Nshumfwile
Please speak more slowly Landa panono panono
Please say that again Bwekeshapo
Please write it down Lemba mukwai (sg/inf)
Lembeni mukwai (pl/frm)
Do you speak English? Bushe Mwalishiba uku landa Icisungu?
Do you speak Bemba? Bushe Mwalishiba uku landa Icibemba?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Ee, panono
Speak to me in Bemba Landa mu Cibemba
Ndandisha mu Cibemba
How do you say ... in Bemba? Mulanda shaani ... mu Cibemba?
Excuse me Mpiteko? (to get past sb)
Panono, njipusheko (to get attention)
How much is this? Lunga?
Shinga?
Sorry Njeleleniko
Mbelelako uluse
Please Mukwai
Thank you Natotela (sg/inf)
Twatotela (pl/frm)
Reply to thank you Awe tapali ifyakutasha ("there's nothing to be thankful for")
Where's the toilet / bathroom? Ukuwakusaukila nikwisa?
Icimbusu cilikwisa, mukwai?
This gentleman will pay for everything Umu lumendo uyu ala lipila fyonse
Uyu umu lumendo ewule lipila fyonse
This lady will pay for everything Umu kashana uyu, ewule lipila fyonse
Uyu umu kashana ala lipila fyonse
Would you like to dance with me? Bushe ule fwaya uku shanako nayine?
Kuti watemwa uku shanako nayine?
Do you come here often? Mula isa isa kuno ilingi?
Bushe mu la tandalako sana kuno?
I miss you Nkakufuluka
I love you Niwe natemwa
Nalikutemwa (sg)
Nalimutemwa (pl)
Get well soon Mu pole bwangu
Poleni bwangu
Go away! Kabiye!
Kabiyeni!
Fumeni apa!
Leave me alone! Ndekeni nemwine!
Help! Njafweniko!
Fire!
Stop! Kabolala uyo!
Iminineni!
Call the police! Iteni ba kapokola!
Iteni ba Police!
Christmas greetings Kristu abe nenu muli ino nshiku nkulu ya Mwezi
New Year greetings
Easter greetings
Birthday greetings Sefya ubushiku wafyelwe (sg)
Sefyeni ubushiku mwafyelwe (pl)
One language is never enough
My hovercraft is full of eels

Some phrases and corrections provided by Mwenya Mutale

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

Information about Bemba | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel

Learn Bemba with uTalk

Bemba language resources on Amazon

Links

Other collections of Bemba phrases
https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Chibemba_phrasebook
http://kitweonline.com/languages/bemba-lessons
https://books.google.co.uk/books
http://kitweonline.com/languages/english-bemba-translations

Phrases in Bantu languages

Bemba, Chichewa, Chokwe, Duala, Herero, Kikuyu, Kinyarwanda, Lingala, Lozi, Luganda, Ndebele (Northern - South Africa), Ndebele (Northern - Zimbabwe), Ndebele (Southern) Nkore, Northern Sotho, Oshiwambo, Shona, Southern Sotho (seSotho), Swahili, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu

Phrases in other languages

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