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Useful phrases in Tumbuka

A collection of useful phrases in Tumbuka. You can see them in many other languages by clicking on the English versions.

Key to abbreviations: >m = said to men, >f = said to women, >eld = said to old people, >pl = said to more than one person

If you can help fill in the gaps on this page, please contact me.

English chiTumbuka (Tumbuka)
Welcome Tempokani
(General greeting)
Monile / Monire a mama (>f) Monire a dada (>m)
Monire a gogo (>eld) Monire mose (>pl)
How are you?
I'm fine, thanks. And you?
Muli uli?
Nili makola, kwali imwe?
Long time no see
What's your name?
My name is ...
Zina linu ndimwe njani?
Zina lane ndine ...
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
Pleased to meet you Chatowa kuwonana namwe
Morning greeting(s) Mwagona uli? (How did you sleep?)
Reply: Nauka makola, kwali imwe? (Fine, and you?)
Afternoon greeting(s) Mwatandala uli? (How has your day been?)
Reply: Natandara makola, kwali imwe? (I had a fine day, how about you?)
Evening greeting(s)
Nighttime parting phrase(s) Usiku uwemi (good night) Mugone makola (sleep well)
Parting phrase(s) Paweme / Mwende makola (travel well)
Good luck Viwemi vyose
Toasts used when drinking
Have a nice day
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
I don't understand Nkhupulika yayi
Please speak more slowly
Please say that again
Please write it down
Do you speak Tumbuka?
I speak a little Tumbuka
Kasi mukhuyowoya ChiTumbuka?
Nkhuyowoya ChiTumbuka pachoko
I don't speak Tumbuka Ine nkhuyowoya chiTumbuka yayi
How do you say ... Mukuti uli ...?
Excuse me Phepani
How much is this? Nizilinga ichi?
Sorry Phepani / Phepani chomene (very sorry)
Please Chonde / Nabeya
Thank you
Nawonga chomene (I thank you)
Tawonga chomene (We thank you)
Yewo chomene (Thank you very much) / Yewo
Ndimwe wakupokeleka / Palije suzgo
Where's the toilet? Chimbuzi chili nkhuni?
This gentleman/lady will pay for everything
Would you like to dance with me?
I love you Nkhukutemwa
Get well soon
Leave me alone! Ni lekani!

Call the police!
Christmas and New Year greetings
Easter greetings
Birthday greetings

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

Information about Tumbuka | Phrases in Tumbuka | Tower of Babel in Tumbuka


Other collections of Tumbuka phrases

Phrases in Niger-Congo languages

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

Phrases in other languages

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