Useful Sesotho phrases

A collection of useful phrases in Sesotho (Southern Sotho) a language spoken in Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia.

Click on the English phrases to see them in many other languages.

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

EnglishseSotho (Sesotho)
WelcomeKena ka kgotso! (sg) Kenang ka kgotso! (pl)
HelloLumela; Dumela (sg) Dumelang (pl) Helele
How are you?

I'm fine, thanks. And you?
O kae? (Where are you?)
O phela joang? (How are you living?)
Ke teng, wena o kae? (I'm here, where are you?)
Ke phela hantle, wena o phela jwang? (I'm living fine, how are you living?)
Long time no see
What's your name?
My name is ...
Lebitso la hao ke mang?
Lebitso laka ke ...
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
O tswa kae?
Ke tswa ...
Pleased to meet you
Good morningMmoro (sg) Mmorong (pl)
Good afternoon
Good evening/Good night Fonane (sg) Fonaneng (pl)
Goodbye Sala hantle (to person staying)
Tsamaya hantle (to person leaving)
Good luckKe u lakaletsa lehlohonolo
Cheers/Good health!
Have a nice day
Bon appetit
Bon voyage O tsamaye hantle; Tsela tsweu (white road)
I don't knowHa ke tsebe
I don't understandHa ke utlwisise
Please speak more slowly
Please say that again
Please write it down
Do you speak Sesotho?
O a bua Sesotho? Na o a bua Sesotho?
Do you speak English?O a bua Senyesemane? Na o a bua Senyesemane?
How do you say ... in Sesotho?
Excuse meNtshwarele; Ntsoarele
How much is this?Ke bokae?
Thank you
Ke a leboha / Ke a leboha haholo
O amohetswe
Where's the toilet?Ntloana e kae? Batekamore e kae?
This gentleman/lady will pay for everything
Would you like to dance with me?
I love youKe a o rata
Get well soon
Leave me alone!Ntohelle kele notsi!
Ke kopa thuso! Thusa!S
Call the police!
Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year
Keresemese e monate le mahlohonolo a selemo se setjha
Happy Easter
Happy BirthdayLetsatsi le monate la tswalo
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.

Information about Southern Sotho / Sesotho | Sesotho phrases | Tower of Babel in Sesotho


Other collections of Sesotho phrases

Phrases in Niger-Congo languages

Ewe, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Lozi, Ndebele (Northern), Sesotho, Shona, Swahili, Tswana, Tumbuka, Wolof, Xhosa, Yorùbá, Zulu

Phrases in other languages