Useful phrases in Northern Ndebele

A collection of useful phrases in Northern Ndebele, a Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.

You can see them in many other languages by clicking on the English versions.

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

EnglishSindebele / isiNdebele (Northern Ndebele)
WelcomeSiyalemukela
HelloSalibonani
How are you?
Fine thanks, and you?
Unjani? (sg) Linjani? (pl)
Ngiyaphila (sg) Siyaphila (pl)
Ngikhona (sg) Sikhona (pl)
Unjani wena? (response)
Long time no seeKudala ngakucina
What's your name?
My name is ...
Ibizo lakho ngubani?
Mina ngingu ...
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
Uvela ngaphi?
Ngivela e ...
Pleased to meet youKuhle ukukubona
Good morningLivukile
Good afternoonLitshonile
Good eveningLitshonile
Good nightLilale kuhle
GoodbyeLisale kuhle
Good luckNgikufisela inhlanhla enhle!
Cheers/Good health!Impilo enhle
Have a nice dayUbe lelanga elihle
Bon appetitUdle kuhle
Bon voyageHamba kahle
I understandNgiyezwa
I don't understandAngizwa
I don't knowAngazi
Please speak more slowlyKhuluma kancene
Please say that againPhinda futhi
Please write it downBhala phansi
Do you speak English?Uyakhuluma isikhiwa?
Do you speak Northern Ndebele?
Yes, a little
Uyakhuluma isiNdebele?
Ye. Kancance
How do you say ... in Northern Ndebele?Kuthwani ... ngeSiNdebele?
Excuse meUxolo
How much is this?Yimalini?
SorryUxolo
PleaseNgiyacela
Thank you
Response
Ngiyabonga
Kulungile
Where's the toilet?Ingaphi ithwelethi?
This gentleman/lady will pay for everythingUzabhadala konke lo
Would you like to dance with me?Uyafuna ukugida lami?
I miss youNgiyakukhumbula
I love youNgiyakuthanda
Get well soonUsile masinya
Go away!Suka! Hamba!
Leave me alone!Akungitshiye!
Help!
Fire!
Stop!
Nceda!
Umlilo!
Mana!
Call the police!Biza ama pholisa!
Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year
Khisimusi enhle
Umnyaka omuhle
Happy EasterIsta enhle
Happy BirthdayUbe lelanga lokuzalwa elihle
One language is never enoughUlimi olulodwa lulutshwana
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
Isikepe sami sigcwele umzowa

Northern Ndebele phrases supplied by Ndhlovu Silile Fein

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

Information about Northern Ndebele | Phrases in Northern Ndebele

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