Useful phrases in Northern Sotho

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.

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See these phrases in any combination of two languages in the Phrase Finder. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

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 Re a go amogela (sg)
Re a le aomgela (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?' Ke gona wena okae? (sg)
Re gona lena le kae? (pl)
Long time no see Ke kgale re sa bonane
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 go go bona
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Good night Robalang gabotse
(Parting phrases)
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)
Good luck! Mahlatse
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Bophelo bjo bobotse! (Good health!)
Have a nice day Eba le letšatši le lebotse
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Ipshine ka dijo
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
Yes Ee
No Aowa
Maybe Mohlômong
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 Hle dula fase
Do you speak English? Na o belela Seisimane?
Do you speak Northern Sotho? Na o bolela Sesotho sa Leboa?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Speak to me in Northern Sotho Bolela le nna ka Sesotho sa Leboa
How do you say ... in Northern Sotho? O e bitša bjang ka Sesotho sa Leboa
Excuse me Ntshwarele
I would like ... Ke kgopela ...
How much is this? Ke bokae?
Sorry Ntshwarele
Please Ka kgopelo
Thank you Ke a leboga
Ke a leboga kudu
Reply to thank you Go leboga rena
Where's the toilet / bathroom? Thoilete e kae?
This gentleman will pay for everything
This lady will pay for everything
Would you like to dance with me? Na o ka rata go tantsha le nna?
I miss you Ke go hlolosetše
I love you Ke a go rata
Get well soon O fole ka pela!
Go away! Tloga!
Leave me alone! Ntlogele!
Help! Thuša!
Fire! Mollo!
Stop! Ema!
Call the police! Bitša maphodisa!
Christmas greetings Mahlogonolo a Keresemose le ngwaga wo moswa wo monate
Matswalo a Morena a Lethabo le Ngwaga wo moswa wa Lethabo
Easter greetings Paseka ya Lethabo
Birthday greetings Mahlatse letšatšing la gago la matswalo
Letšatši la matswalo la Lethabo
One language is never enough Leleme le tee ga se la lekana
My hovercraft is full of eels


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