Basic Northern isiNdebele phrases

Salibonani, today we will go over about 8 basic isiNdebele phrases to get you started:

Salibonani- hello (or literally "we have seen eachother")
Unjani (linjani)?- how are you (you plural)?
Ngiyaphila (siyaphila)- I am fine (we are fine)
Ngikhona (sikhona)- I am fine (we are fine) [literally means "I am here"] 
Unjani wena?- How are you? (response)

Yebo- yes
Hayikhona/ hayi/ hayibo- no, nope, no way

Ngiyabonga (siyabonga)- I thank you (we thank you)

Hamba kahle- go well/ good bye (said by the person staying behind)
Sahle kahle- stay well/ good bye (said by the person leaving the place)


  1. Thanks heaps for your blog. It is hard to find info on the language of IsiNdebele>>

  2. You are welcome mngane. I saw that it was difficult so started this blog. Hamba kahle

  3. I am really that crazy about African languages, and Ndebele is one of my favorites. Please, just to help to improve the basics in this page, could you please, translate these sentences into Ndebele?

    CORIN: Excuse me, is this Peter Civera’s classroom?
    JUAN: I don’t know. I am a new student.
    CORIN: So am I. How do you do?
    LAURA: How do you do?
    CORIN: My name´s Corin and this is Juan my husband.
    LAURA: Pleased to meet you Corin, Pleased to meet you Juan.
    LAURA: Are you from Elda?
    JUAN: No I’m not, I’m from Cuenca, and my wife is from
    Alicante, but we live in Elda. Where are you from, Laura?
    CORIN: I am from Elda. I live in Sagasta Square.


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