A collection of useful phrases in Southern Ndebele, a Bantu language spoken by in South Africa.
Key to abbreviations: sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).
|Phrase||isiNdebele (Southern Ndebele)|
|Hello (General greeting)||Lotjhani|
|How are you?||Kunjani?|
|Reply to 'How are you?'||Ngikhona ngiyathokoza|
|What's your name?||Ibizo lakho ngubani?|
|My name is ...||Ibizo lami ngu...|
|Where are you from?||Uvela ngaphi?|
|I'm from ...||Ngivela e...|
|Pleased to meet you||Ngiyathaba ukukwazi
Nami godu ngiyathaba (reply)
|Good night||Lala kuhle (sleep well)
|Khamba kuhle (go well - to person leaving)
Sala kuhle (stay well - to person staying)
|Good luck!||Iba netjhudu|
|Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
|Ye usale kuhle!|
|Have a nice day||Ube nelanga elimnandi|
|Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
|Uthokozele ukudla kwakho|
|Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
|Ube nekhambo eliphephileko|
|I don't know||Angazi|
|I don't understand||Angizwsisi|
|Please speak more slowly||Ngibawa ukhulume kabuthaka|
|Please say that again||Ngibawa ubuyelele lokho|
|Please write it down||Ngibawa uyitlole phasi|
|Do you speak English?||Ukhuluma isiNgisi?|
|Do you speak Southern Ndebele?||Ukhuluma isiNdebele?|
|Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
|Iye, kancancani kwaphela|
|Do you speak a language
other than Southern Ndebele?
|Likhona elinye ilimi olukhulumako ngaphandle kwesiNdebele?|
|Speak to me in Southern Ndebele||Khuluma nami ngesiNdebele|
|How do you say ... in Southern Ndebele?||Ukutjho njani lokhu ... ngesiNdebele?|
|How much is this?||Yimalini?
|Please||Ngibawa (I am asking)
Akhu ... (Would you please ...)
|Thank you||Ngiyathokoza (I am thanking)
Siyathokoza (We are thanking)
e[surname of person being thanked]
|Reply to thank you||Wamukelekile|
|Where's the toilet / bathroom?||Ikuphi indlu encani?|
|This gentleman will pay for everything||LoBaba uzakubhadela yoke into|
|This lady will pay for everything||LoMma uzakubhadela yoke into|
|Would you like to dance with me?||Ungathanda ukugida nami?|
|Do you come here often?||Ujayele ukuza lapha|
|I miss you||Ngikukhumbule|
|I love you||Ngiyakuthanda|
|Get well soon||Uphole|
|Go away!||Khambela le!
|Leave me alone!||Ngilise!|
|Call the police!||Ngibawa ubize amapholisa!|
|Christmas greetings||Ukresimusi omnandi|
|Easter greetings||Ube negudi emnandi|
|Birthday greetings||Langelihle lokuzalwa
Ilanga elimnandi lamabeletho
|One language is never enough||Ilimi elinye kwaphela alikaneli|
Corrections and additions by Bongani Mahlangu
Hear some of these phraeses
If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.
Bemba, Chichewa, Herero, Kikuyu, Kinyarwanda, Lingala, Lozi, Luganda, Ndebele (Northern - South Africa), Ndebele (Northern - Zimbabwe), Ndebele (Southern) Nkore, Northern Sotho, Shona, Southern Sotho (seSotho), Swahili, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
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