A collection of useful phrases in Sesotho (Southern Sotho) a language spoken in Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia.
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: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).
|Welcome||Kena ka kgotso! (sg)
Kenang ka kgotso! (pl)
|Hello (General greeting)||Lumela
|How are you?||O kae? (Where are you?)
O phela joang? (How are you living?)
|Reply to 'How are you?'||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?||Lebitso la hao ke mang?|
|My name is ...||Lebitso laka ke ...|
|Where are you from?||O tswa kae?|
|I'm from ...||Ke tswa ...|
|Pleased to meet you|
|Mmoro (sg) Mmorong (pl)|
|Fonane (sg) Fonaneng (pl)|
|Good night||Fonane (sg) Fonaneng (pl)|
|Sala hantle (to person staying)
Tsamaya hantle (to person leaving)
|Good luck!||Ke u lakaletsa lehlohonolo|
|Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
|Have a nice day|
|Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
|Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
|O tsamaye hantle; Tsela tsweu (white road)|
|I don't know||Ha ke tsebe|
|I don't understand||Ha 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?
|Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
|Do you speak English?||O a bua Senyesemane?
Na o a bua Senyesemane?
|How do you say ... in Sesotho?|
|How much is this?||Ke bokae?|
|Thank you||Ke a leboha
Ke a leboha haholo
|Reply to thank you||O amohetswe|
|Where's the toilet?||Ntloana e kae?
Batekamore e kae?
|This gentleman will pay for everything|
|This lady will pay for everything|
|Would you like to dance with me?|
|I love you||Ke a o rata|
|Get well soon|
|Leave me alone!||Ntohelle kele notsi!|
|Help!||Ke kopa thuso!
|Call the police!|
|Christmas and New Year greetings||Keresemese e monate le mahlohonolo a selemo se setjha|
|Birthday greetings||Letsatsi 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.
Hear some of these phrases being spoken:
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