Useful phrases in Southern Ndebele

A collection of useful phrases in Southern Ndebele, a Bantu language spoken by in South Africa.

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

Phrase isiNdebele (Southern Ndebele)
Welcome Siyalemukela (sg)
Ngiyak'wamukela (pl)
Hello (General greeting) Lotjhani
Sawubona (sg)
Salibonani (pl)
Yebo (reply)
Hello (on phone)
How are you? Linjani?
Reply to 'How are you?' Ngiyaphila
Ngikhona ngiyathokoza
Long time no see
What's your name? Ibizo lakho ngubani?
My name is ... Ibizo lami ngu...
Where are you from? Udabuka ngaphi? (Where are you originally from?)
Uvela ngaphi?
I'm from ... Ngidabuka e... (I'm originally from ...)
Ngivela e...
Pleased to meet you Ngiyathaba ukukwazi
Lami futhi ngiyathaba (reply)
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Uvuka njani? (How did you sleep?)
Nguvukile (I slept well - reply)
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Utshone njani? (How have you spent your day?)
- said only to sb you've seen in the morning
Ngitshonile (reply)
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Litshone njani
Utshone njani? (How have you spent your day?)
- said only to sb you've seen in the morning
Ngitshonile (reply)
Good night Lala kuhle (sleep well)
(Parting phrases)
Hambe kuhle (go well - to person leaving)
Sala kuhle (stay well - to person staying)
Lisale (stay well)
Good luck! Iba netjhudu
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Have a nice day Ube nelanga elimnandi
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Ube nekhambo eliphephileko
Yes Yebo
No Cha
I don't know
I understand Ngiyazwsisi
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 ...?')
Speak to me in Southern Ndebele
How do you say ... in Southern Ndebele? Ukutjho njani lokhu ... ngesiNdebele?
Excuse me Uxolo
How much is this? Yimalini?
Kubiza malini?
Sorry Ngiyaxolisa (I am sorry)
Please Ngicela (I am asking)
Aku ... (Would you please ...)
Thank you Ngiyabonga (I am thanking)
Ngiyabonga kakhulu
Siyabonga (We are thanking)
e[surname of person being thanked]
Reply to thank you Wamukelekile
Where's the toilet / bathroom?
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 love you Ngiyakuthanda
Get well soon
Go away!
Leave me alone!
Help! Rhelebha!
Call the police! Ngibawa ubize amapholisa!
Christmas greetings Ukresimusi omnandi
Easter greetings
Birthday greetings Langelihle lokuzalwa
Ilanga elimnandi lamabeletho
One language is never enough
My hovercraft is full of eels

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.

Information about Southern Ndebele | Phrases | Tower of Babel


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