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Useful phrases in Tsonga

A collection of useful phrases in Tsonga, a Bantu language spoken mainly in South Africa, and also in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

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

Phrase Xitsonga (Tsonga)
Welcome Hami amukela (sg)
Ndzaku amukela (pl)
Hello (General greeting) Xewani
Avuxeni (sg)
Ahee (reply)
Hello (on phone)
How are you? Kunjhani? (sg)
Minjhani? (pl/frm)
Reply to 'How are you?' Ni kona
Ndzi kona
Ndzi kona ndza nkhensa
Long time no see IKhale hinga vonani
What's your name? Hi wena mani vito?
Hi wena mani vito ra wena? (frm))
U wa ka mani xivongo? (What is your surname?)
My name is ... Hi mina ...
Vito ra mina i...
Where are you from? U huma kwihi? (sg)
Mi huma kwihi? (pl)
I'm from ... Ndzi huma e ...
Pleased to meet you Ni tsakele ku ku tiva (sg)
Ni tsakele ku mi tiva (pl/frm)
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Avuxeni
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Inhlikanhi (sg)
Indzengha
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Riperile (sg)
Imadyambu
Good night U etlela kahle (sg - sleep well)
Mi etlela kahle (pl)
Goodbye
(Parting phrases)
Sala kahle (sg - to person staying)
Salani kahle (pl/frm - to person staying)
Famba kahle (sg - to person leaving)
Fambani kahle (pl/frm - to person leaving)
Good luck! Ndzi ku navelela mikateko
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Have a nice day U va ni siku lerinene (sg)
Mi va ni siku lerinene (pl)
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Famba hi ku rhula!
I understand Na swi twisisa
I don't understand A ni swi twisisi
Yes Ina
No E-e
Maybe Kumbe xana
I don't know A ndzi tivi
Please speak more slowly Vulavula hi ku nonoka u nga hatlisi
Please say that again Ni kombela u vula sweswo nakambe
Please write it down Swi tsale ehansi
Do you speak English? Xana wa xitiva Xinghezi ke?
Do you speak Tsonga? Xana wa xitiva Xitsonga ke?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Ina ndzivulavula switsongo
Ina ndzivulavula swintsanana
Speak to me in Tsonga Vulavula na mina Hi Xitsonga
How do you say ... in Tsonga? Hi Xitsonga u ri yini loko u ku ...?
Excuse me Ndzi khomeleni
How much is this? Xana i malimuni?
Xi durha malimuni?
Sorry Ndzi kombela ku khomeriwa
Please Ndza kombela
Thank you Ndza nkhensa
Ndzi khense ngopfu
Inkomu swinene
Reply to thank you U amukelekile (sg)
Mi amukelekile (pl/frm)
Where's the toilet / bathroom? Xana xi kumeka kwihi xihambukelo?
This gentleman will pay for everything Njinga leyi yita hakela hikwaswo
This lady will pay for everything Khomba leyi yita hakela hinkwaswo
Would you like to dance with me? Ungaswitsakela ku cina na mina xana
I miss you Ndzaku Khumbula
Ndzaku Tsunduka
I love you Ndza ku rhandza
Get well soon
Go away!
Leave me alone!
Help! Ndzi pfuneni!
Fire! Ndzilo!
Stop! Yima!
Call the police! Vitanani maphorisa!
Christmas greetings A ku vi Khisimusi lerinene naswona a ku vi lembe lerintshwa lerinene
Easter greetings
Birthday greetings Ndzi tlangela siku ro velekiwa
One language is never enough
My hovercraft is full of eels

If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

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