Until recently, the Northern Ndebele language was not written and only spoken by those living majorly in Ndebele communities of Northern Limpopo. Progress has been made by educational institutions such as Mokopane Primary School who now offer IsiNdebele as an official Language Subject. We will endeavor to partner with the school to bring about the language by leveraging on-demand digital education platforms…keep a lookout.

Check out the below Link(s) for more information on isiNdebele SaseNyakatho:

  1. https://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/northernndebele.htm
  2. http://www.northernndebele.org.za/ (Northern Ndebele Dictionary)
 English Phrase SiNdebele saseNyakatho (Northern Ndebele)
Hello (General greeting)Mushade!
Hello (General greeting)Lotjhani!
How are you?U(n)jani? (sg)
How are you?Li(n)jani? (pl / to an elder)
Reply to 'How are you?'Diyaphila (sg)
Reply to 'How are you?'Siyaphila (pl)
Reply to 'How are you?'Dikhona (sg)
Reply to 'How are you?'Sikhona (pl)
Reply to 'How are you?'Nkhona (sg)
Reply to 'How are you?'Sikhona (pl)
Reply to 'How are you?'U(n)jani wena? ( response )
Long time no seeNkade dakubona
Long time no seeNkade ngakuboni
What's your name?Libito lakho (n)gubani?
What's your name?Litinyo lakho (n)gubani?
My name is ...Libito / Litinyo lami gu ...
My name is ...Mina digu ...
Where are you from?Uvela kuphi?
Where are you from?Uphuma kuphi?
I'm from ...Divela e ...
Pleased to meet youNthabele kukubona
Good morningMushade/Lotjhani, livukile?
(Morning greeting)Mushade/Lotjhani, lithobele jani?
Good afternoonMushade
(Afternoon greeting)Lotjhani
Good eveningMushade/Lotjhani, lihlwe (n)jani? (sg)
(Evening greeting)lihlwe (n)jani? (pl / to an elder)
Good nightUthobale kuhle (sg)
Good nightLithobale kuhle (pl / to an elder)
GoodbyeUsale kuhle (sg)
(Parting phrases)Lisale kuhle (pl / to an elder)
Good luck!Mahlate amahle!
Cheers! Good Health! (Toasts used when drinking)Buphilo bobuhle!
Have a nice dayUbe nella(n)ga lelihle (sg)
Have a nice dayUbe nella(n)ga lelihle (pl / to an elder)
Bon appetit /Udle kamuna(n)di! (sg)
Have a nice mealUdle kamuna(n)di! (pl / to an elder)
Bon voyage /Ukha(m)bhe kuhle (sg)
Have a good journeyUbe neliyedo lelihle (sg)
Have a good journeyLikha(m)bhe kuhle (pl / to an elder)
Have a good journeyLibe neliyedo lelihle (pl / to an elder)
I don't knowAdiyati
I don't knowAdiwati
I understandNdiyavisisa
I don't understandAdivisisi
Please speak more slowlySumela kanghatanyana
Please speak more slowlySumela kanghane
Please speak more slowlySumayela kanghatanyana
Please speak more slowlySumayela kanghane
Please say that againNku(m)bhela usumele leso ka(m)bhe
Please say that againNkhu(m)bhela lisumayele leso ka(m)bhe
Please write it downGwala pha(n)si
Do you speak English?Usumela sikxhuwa?
Do you speak English?Usumayela sikxhuwa?
Do you speak Northern Ndebele?Usumela siNdebele saseNyakatho?
Do you speak Northern Ndebele?Usumayela siNdebele saseNyakatho?
Yes, a little (reply to 'Do you speak ...?')Yebo. Kanghane
Speak to me in Northern NdebeleSumela nami geSiNdebele (saseNyakatho)
Speak to me in Northern NdebeleSumayela nami geSiNdebele (saseNyakatho)
How do you say ... in Northern Ndebele?Kuthwani ... ngeSiNdebele?
Excuse meKahle!
Excuse meJama bhili!
Excuse meNkhubhela ku(n)dlula! ( when you want to pass )
Excuse meAndlule! ( when you want to pass )
How much is this?Mbugagi?
SorryNkhu(m)bhela mphathelo
Thank youDiyalebuka
Reply to thank youKulu(n)gile
Where's the toilet / bathroom?Ikuphi ndlwana?
This gentleman will pay for everythingLisokana leli litabhadelela tokxe
This lady will pay for everythingMuthembana lo utabhadelela tokxe
Nkxosatana le itabhadelela tokxe
Would you like to dance with me?Ufuna kubina nami?
Would you like to dance with me?Ufuna kuthagela nami?
Would you like to dance with me?Ufuna kurida nami?
Do you come here often?Uta la kanyeti?
I miss youDiyakukhu(m)bhula
I love youDiyakutha(n)da
Get well soonUphole ga(m)bhila
Go away!Suka!
Go away!Kha(m)bha!
Leave me alone!Nsukele! (sg)
Leave me alone!Nsukeleni! ( reply to an elder or more than one person )
Call the police!Bita maphodisa!
Christmas greetingsNkhresimusi ehle neMunyaka omutjha omuhle
New Year greetings
Easter greetingsMukhosi weMbhasinga omuhle
Birthday greetingsUbe nelilla(n)ga lelihle lemabeletho (sg)
Birthday greetingsLibe nelilla(n)ga lelihle lemabeletho (pl)
One language is never enoughLilimi linye ligasivuki ligayanele
How was your day?Uhlwe jani (sg)
How was your day?Lihlwe jani? (pl)
What time is it?Nnago bani?
When will you see us again?Uto sibona nini ka(m)bhe?
When will we see you again?Sito kubona nini ka(m)bhe?
Pass my greetingsUmulotjhise (sg)
Pass my greetingsUbalotjhise (pl)
Where do you work?Uberega kuphi?
Where do you work?Usebenta kuphi?
Where are you going?Uyakuphi? (sg) (Uya'phi?)
Where are you going?Liyakuphi? (pl) (Liya'phi?)
We are going to ...Diya e ... (sg)
We are going to ...Siya e ...(pl)
Where do you live?Uhlala kuphi? (Uhlala'phi?)
I am looking for ...Nfuna ....
How do I get to ...Diyajani e ...
Where is the road to ...Ndlela yekuya e ... ikuphi?
Where do I board a bus/taxi?Nkhwela kuphi mbhese/nteksi?
How do I stop a taxi to town?Njamisa jani nteksi yekuya etirojeni?
Where is the nearest shop/store?Libengela leli likudute likuphi?
Where is the nearest shop/store?Libengela lakudute likuphi?
Where do I buy ...Nthe(n)ga kuphi ...
How much is this?Mbugagi?
Where can I sleep?Ngathobala kuphi?
Where is the nearest hotel?Nhotele yakudute ikuphi?
Where is the nearest bank?Mbhanka yakudute ikuphi?
Where is the nearest ATM?Mutjhini wentjhelede osedute ukuphi?
Where is the nearest hospital?Sibhedlela sikuphi?
How is the place?Ndawo yakhona i(n)jani?
Where is the hospital?Sibhedlela sikuphi?
Where can I find a doctor?Ngafumana kuphi nnyaga (yesikxhuwa)?
Can I have water please?Nkhu(m)bhela mma(n)ti.
Where can I see wild animals?Ngabona kuphi tinyamatana?
Where can I see wild animals?Ngabona kuphi tinyamatana?
Is it safe here?Kubulugekile lapho?
Credit: Northern Ndebele (South Africa) phrases supplied by Dr Plaatjie Mahlobogoane (Ph.D.)