A collection of useful phrases in Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa / Sepedi), a member of the Bantu branch of Niger-Congo languages spoken in South Africa.
Click on any of the phrases that are links (blue) to hear them spoken. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.
To see these phrases in many other languages click on the English versions. If you'd like to see these phrases in any combination of two languages, try the Phrase Finder.
Key to abbreviations: sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).
|Phrase||Sesotho sa Leboa / Sepedi (Northern Sotho)|
|Welcome||Kena ka kgotso! (sg)
Kenang ka kgotso! (pl)
|Hello (General greeting)||Dumêlang
|Hello (on phone)|
|How are you?||O kae? ("Where are you?") - sg
Le kae? (pl)
O phela jwang? ("How are you living?")
|Reply to 'How are you?'||Re teng, le kae?
Ke teng, wena o kae?
Ke phela hantle, wena o phela jwang?
Re gôna, ke a leboga
Le nna ke gona, ke a leboga
|Long time no see|
|What's your name?||Ke wena mang?|
|My name is ...||Ke nna ...|
|Where are you from?||O tswa kae?|
|I'm from ...||Ke tšwa ...|
|Pleased to meet you||Ke thabela ho u tseba|
|Good night||Robalang gabotse|
Re tlo bonana ka pela (see you soon)
Re tlo bonana ka morago ga lebakanyana (see you later)
Sala hantle (said to person staying)
Tsamaya hantle (said to person leaving)
|Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
|Have a nice day|
|Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
|Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
|O be le leeto le le bolokegilego
Tsela tsweu ("white road")
|I understand||Ke a kwešiša|
|I don't understand||Ga ke kwešiše
Ha ke o utlwisisi
|I don't know||Ha ke tsebe|
|Please speak more slowly||Ke kgopela gore o bolele ka go iketla
A o ka bolela ka go iketla?
|Please say that again||Boeletša, hle!
A nke o boeletše hle
|Please write it down|
|Do you speak English?||Na o belela Seisimane?|
|Do you speak Northern Sotho?|
|Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
|Speak to me in Northern Sotho|
|How do you say ... in Northern Sotho?|
|How much is this?||Ke bokae?|
|Thank you||Ke a leboga
Ke a leboga kudu
|Reply to thank you||Go leboga rena|
|Where's the toilet?||Thoilete e kae?|
|This gentleman will pay for everything|
|This lady will pay for everything|
|Would you like to dance with me?|
|I miss you|
|I love you||Ke a go rata|
|Get well soon||O fole ka pela!|
|Leave me alone!||Ntlogele!|
|Call the police!|
|Christmas and New Year greetings|
|One language is never enough|
|My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.
Other collections of Northern Sotho phrases
Bemba, Chichewa, Efik, Ewe, Herero, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Lozi, Luganda, Mossi, Ndebele (Northern - South Africa), Ndebele (Northern - Zimbabwe), Ndebele (Southern) Nkore, Northern Sotho, Sesotho, Shona, Swahili, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Wolof, Xhosa, Yorùbá, Zulu