Wednesday, January 23, 2013

siSwati Lesson One

I’m taking a course in beginner’s siSwati, and thought it might be interesting to post some of the things we’re learning as we go along. And so, I present to you, “Basic Greetings in siSwati!”

Hello (greeting someone) – Sawubona
Hello (replying to their greeting) – Yebo, sawubona
How are you? – Unjani?
I’m good – Ngikhona
And how are you? – Wena unjani?
Where are you from? – Uphumaphi?
I’m from… - Ngubani e…
America – Melika
Germany – Jalimane
Britain – Ngilandi
Ngubi ligama lakho? – What is your name?
Ligama lami ngingu… - My name is…

With this, you can make a pretty decent conversation. Try reading through this and seeing if you understand:

-Yebo, sawubona make (make, pronounced “mah-gay,” is how you address an older woman respectfully)
-Ngikhona, wena unjani?
-Ngikhona. Ngubani ligama lakho?
-Ligama lami ngingu Diana. Ngubani ligama lakho?
-Ligama lami ngingu Make Dlamini. Uphumaphi?
-Ngiphuma e Melika.

And then one last thing – goodbyes.
Goodbye (if you’re talking to someone who is staying) – Sala kahle
Goodbye (if you’re talking to someone who is leaving) – Hamba kahle
 (note: Both people in the conversation could potentially say “hamba kahle,” but if both people said “sala kahle,” that’d just be awkward).


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