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Bantu language

Tswana (Setswana) is spoken in Botswana and South Africa.

Pronunciation guideEdit

VowelsEdit

ConsonantsEdit

Common diphthongsEdit

Phrase listEdit

BasicsEdit

Common signs

OPEN 
bula
CLOSED 
tswala
ENTRANCE 
kgoro/mojako/lebati
EXIT 
tswa fa
PUSH
kgorometsa
PULL 
goga
TOILET
ntlwana ya boithuselo
MEN 
banna/borre
WOMEN 
basadi/bomme
FORBIDDEN 
Hello. 
Dumela.
(Dumela Rra - pronounced "borra" - when addressing men, Dumela Mma - pronounced "bomma" - when addressing women)
Hello. (informal
. (dumela )
How are you? 
O tsogíle jang? (o tsogile ?)
Fine, thank you. 
. (Ke tsogile / ke a leboga )
What is your name? 
? (leina la gago ke mang ?)
My name is ______ . 
______ . (leina lame ke ____.)
Nice to meet you. 
. (ke itumela go go itse )
Please. 
. (ka tsweetswee )
Thank you. 
. (ke a leboga )
You're welcome. 
. (o amogelesegile )
Yes. 
. (ee )
No. 
. (nnyaa )
Excuse me. (getting attention
. ( )
Excuse me. (begging pardon
. ( )
I'm sorry. 
. (ke kopa maitshwarelo )
Goodbye Sala sentle - stay well Tsamaya sentle - go well
Goodbye (informal
Go siame
I can't speak name of language [well]. 
[ ]. (ga ke kgone go bua teme [sentle ])
Do you speak English? 
? (o bua sekgowa ?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
 ? (a gona le mongwe fa yo o buang sekgowa ?)
Help! 
! (thusa !)
Look out! 
! (bona koo !)
Good morning. 
. (Moso o itumedisang )
Good evening. 
. (motshegare )
Good night. 
. (bosigo jo bo monate/boitumedisang )
Good night (to sleep
. (robala sentle )
I don't understand. 
. (ga ke tlhaloganye )
Where is the toilet? 
? (ntlwana ya boithusetso e kae?)

ProblemsEdit

Leave me alone. 
. (ntlogele .)
Don't touch me! 
! (o seka wa ntshwara/o seka wa nkgoma !)
I'll call the police. 
. (ke tla leletsa mapodise .)
Police! 
 ! (mapodise !)
Stop! Thief! 
 ! ! (ema !legodu !)
I need your help. 
. (ke kopa thuso ya gago .)
It's an emergency.
. (ke ga tshoganetso .)
I'm lost. 
. (ke latlhegile/ke timetse .)
I lost my bag. 
. (ke latlhegetswe ke kgetsana yame .)
I lost my wallet. 
. (ke latlhile sepache same .)
I'm sick. 
. (ke a lwala .)
I've been injured. 
. (ke gobetse .)
I need a doctor. 
. (ke batla ngaka .)
Can I use your phone? 
 ? (ke ka dirisa mogala wa gago ?)

NumbersEdit

(bongwe )
(bobedi )
(boraro )
(bone )bone
(botlhano )
(boratato )
(bosupa )
(borobabobedi )
(borobabongwe )
10 
(lesome )lesome
11 
(lesome-le-bongwe )
12 
(lesome-le-bobedi )
13 
(lesome-le-boraro' )
14 
(lesome-le-bone)
15 
(lesome-le-botlhano )
16 
(lesome-le-borataro )
17 
(lesome-le-bosupa )
18 
(lesome-le-borobabobedi )
19 
(lesome-le-borobabongwe )
20 
(masome-a-mabedi )
21 
(masome-a-mabedi-le bongwe )
22 
(masome-a-mabedi-le-bobedi' )
23 
(masome-a-mabedi-le-boraro )
30 
(masome-a-maroro )
40 
(masome-a-mane )
50 
(masome-a-matlhano )
60 
(masome-a-marataro )
70 
(masome-a-supa )ma
80 
(masome-a-robabobedi )
90 
(masome-a-robabongwe )
100 
(lekgolo )lekgolo
200 
(makgolo-a-mabedi )
300 
(makgolo-a-mararo )
1,000 
(sekete )sekete
2,000 
(kete-tse-pedi )
1,000,000 
(sedikadike )
1,000,000,000 
( )
1,000,000,000,000 
( )
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) 
(dipalo )
half 
(sephatlo )
less 
(bonnye )
more 
(bontsi )

TimeEdit

now 
(jaanong )
later 
(kgantele )
before 
(lantlha )
morning 
(moso )
afternoon 
(motshegare )
evening 
(maitsebowa )
night 
(bosigo )

Clock timeEdit

one o'clock AM 
(nako ya bongwe maphakela )
two o'clock AM 
(nako ya bobedi maphakela )
noon 
(motshegare )
one o'clock PM 
(nako ya bongwe maitsebowa )
two o'clock PM 
(nako ya bobedi maistebowa )
midnight 
(bosigo-gare )

DurationEdit

10_____ minute(s) 
(metsotso' )
___5__ hour(s) 
(di oura )
_____ day(s) 
(matsatsi )
_____ week(s) 
(dibeke )
_____ month(s) 
(dikgwedi )
_____ year(s) 
(dingwaga )

DaysEdit

today 
(gompieno )g
yesterday 
(maabane )
tomorrow 
(kamoso )
this week 
(beke e tlang )
last week 
(beke ee fetileng )
next week 
(beke ee tlang )
Sunday 
(tshipi )
Monday 
(mosupologo )
Tuesday 
(labobedi )
Wednesday 
(laboraro )
Thursday 
(labone )
Friday 
( labotlhano)
Saturday 
(matlhatso )

MonthsEdit

January 
(Ferikgong )
February 
(tlhakole )
March 
(mopitlwe)
April 
(moranang )
May 
(motsheganong )
June 
(seetebosigo )
July 
(phukwi )
August 
(phatwe )
September 
(lwesti )
October 
(Diphalane )
November 
(ngwanatsele )
December 
(sedimonthole )

Writing time and dateEdit

ColorsEdit

black 
(bontsho )
white 
(bosweu )
gray 
(borokwa )
red 
(bohibidu )
blue 
(botala jwa loapi )
yellow 
(lephutshe )
green 
(botala jwa tlhaga )
orange 
( )
purple 
( )
brown 
(bosetlha )

TransportationEdit

Bus and trainEdit

How much is a ticket to _____? 
(thekete ke bokae? )
One ticket to _____, please. 
(thekete e le nngwe ke________tsweetswee )
Where does this train/bus go? 
(terena kgotsa base e e ya kae? )
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
(terena kgotsa base e ya ko_______? )
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
(a base kgotsa terenae e ema ko_______? )
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
( )
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
(terenakgotsa base e e tla goroga leng ko______?)

DirectionsEdit

How do I get to _____ ? 
(ke goroga jang koo______? )
...the train station? 
(....maemelo a terena? )
...the bus station? 
(....maemelo a dibaee? )
...the airport? 
(...maemelo a difofane? )
...downtown? 
(ko toropong? )
...the youth hostel? 
( )
...the _____ hotel? 
( )
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
( )
Where are there a lot of... 
(ke ko kae ko go nang le_______se sentsi? )
...hotels? 
( )
...restaurants? 
( )
...bars? 
(dibara? )
...sites to see? 
( )
Can you show me on the map? 
(a o ka mpontsha mo mmepeng? )
street 
(mokgwatha )
Turn left. 
(kapogela ho molema )
Turn right. 
(kapogela ho moja)
left 
(molema )
right 
(moja )
straight ahead 
(stamaela ho sele )
towards the _____ 
(go lebagana le______ )
past the _____ 
(fetaa fa.... )
before the _____ 
(sele ga________ )
Watch for the _____. 
(o lebelele_______ )
intersection 
(mahosano )
north 
(botlkaba )
south 
(bopkirima )
east 
(bohone )
west 
(botwa )
uphill 
(jodimo ja thaba )
downhill 
(ho tlase ja thaba )

TaxiEdit

Taxi! 
( )
Take me to _____, please. 
(tonki)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
(ke go ya ko....? )
Take me there, please. 
(nkisa teng,ka tsweetswee )

LodgingEdit

Do you have any rooms available? 
(a le ya borobalo ee senang ope? )
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
(ke bokae ntlwana ya borobalo fa motho a le mongwe kgotsa ba le babedi? )
Does the room come with... 
(a ntlwana e tla ka_______? )
...bedsheets? 
( )
...a bathroom? 
(ntlawana ya go tlhapela? )
...a telephone? 
(mogala? )
...a TV? 
(setshwantsho sa motshikinyego?)
May I see the room first? 
(a nkabona ntlwana ya borobalo pele? )
Do you have anything quieter? 
( )
...bigger? 
(setona? )
...cleaner? 
(bophepa? )
...cheaper? 
(tlhwatlhwa tlase? )
OK, I'll take it. 
(go siame,ke tla e tsaya )
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
(ke nna bosigo(ma)a le______)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
( )
Do you have a safe? 
( )
...lockers? 
( )
Is breakfast/supper included? 
(a dijo tsa phakela kgotsa bosigo mo teng? )
What time is breakfast/supper? 
(dijo tsa phakela kgotsa bosigo ke nako mang? )
Please clean my room. 
(ka tsweetswee phepafatsa ntlwana yame ya borobalo )
Can you wake me at _____? 
(a o ka ntsosa ka______? )
I want to check out. 
( )

MoneyEdit

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
( )
Do you accept British pounds? 
( )
Do you accept Euros? 
( )
Do you accept credit cards? 
( )
Can you change money for me? 
( )
Where can I get money changed? 
( )
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
( )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
( )
What is the exchange rate? 
( )
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
( )

EatingEdit

A table for one person/two people, please. 
(ke kopa tafole ya motho ale mongwe kgotsa ba le babedi,ka tsweetswee )
Can I look at the menu, please? 
( )
Can I look in the kitchen? 
(a nka bona mo ntlwaneng ya boapeelo? )
Is there a house specialty? 
(a gona le tsa ntlo tse di kgethegileng? )
Is there a local specialty? 
(a gona le tsa setso/setswana tse di kgethegileng? )
I'm a vegetarian. 
(ke ja merogo fela )
I don't eat pork. 
(ga ke je nama ya kolobe )
I don't eat beef. 
(ga ke je nama ya kgomo )
I only eat kosher food. 
( )
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
( )
fixed-price meal 
( )
a la carte 
( )
breakfast 
(dijo tsa moso/phakela )
lunch 
(dijo tsa motshegare )
tea (meal
(tee/mogodungwana (dijo) )
supper 
(dijo tsa selalelo/maitseboa )
I want _____. 
(ke batla go ________ )
I want a dish containing _____. 
(ke batla tse di nang le_______ )
chicken 
(nama ya koko )
beef 
(nama ya kgomo )
fish 
(tlhapi )
ham 
( )
sausage 
( )
cheese 
(botoro )
eggs 
(mae )
salad 
( )
(fresh) vegetables 
(merogo e e phepa )
(fresh) fruit 
(maungo a a phepa )
bread 
(borotho/senkgwe )
toast 
( )
noodles 
( )
rice 
( )
beans 
(dinawa )
May I have a glass of _____? 
(ke kopa galase ya_______? )
May I have a cup of _____? 
(ke kopa kopi ya________? )
May I have a bottle of _____? 
(ke kopa botlele ya_______? )
coffee 
(kofi )
tea (drink
(tee/mogodungwana (nwa) )
juice 
( )
(bubbly) water 
( )
(still) water 
( )
beer 
(biri )
red/white wine 
(mofine o mohibidu/o mosweu )
May I have some _____? 
(ke kopa_____? )
salt 
(letswai )
black pepper 
( )
butter 
(botoro )
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
( )
I'm finished. 
(ke feditse )
It was delicious. 
(go ne go le monate )
Please clear the plates. 
(ka tsweetswee tsaya dijana )
The check, please. 
( )

BarsEdit

Do you serve alcohol? 
(o rekisa bojalwa? )
Is there table service? 
( )
A beer/two beers, please. 
(beri /diberi bobedi )
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
( )
A pint, please. 
( )
A bottle, please. 
( )
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
( )
whiskey 
(ugologo )
vodka 
( )
rum 
( )
water 
(metsi )
club soda 
( )
tonic water 
( )
orange juice 
( )
Coke (soda
( )
Do you have any bar snacks? 
( )
One more, please. 
(e nngwe,ka tsweetswee )
Another round, please. 
( )
When is closing time? 
(go tswalwa nako mang? )
Cheers! 
( )

ShoppingEdit

Do you have this in my size? 
( )
How much is this? 
(ke bokae se? )
That's too expensive. 
(se a tura thata )
Would you take _____? 
(ao ka tsaya_______? )
expensive 
(tura )
cheap 
(ga se turu )
I can't afford it. 
( )
I don't want it. 
(ga ke e batle )
You're cheating me. 
(o a ntsietsa )
I'm not interested. 
(.ga kena kgatlhego.)
OK, I'll take it. 
(go siame,ke tla e tsaya )
Can I have a bag? 
(ke kopa beke? )
Do you ship (overseas)? 
( )
I need... 
(ke batla_______ )
...toothpaste. 
(borache jwa meno )
...a toothbrush. 
( )
...tampons. 
. ( )
...soap. 
(molora oo tlhapang )
...shampoo. 
( )
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
( )
...cold medicine. 
(molemo oo tsidid )
...stomach medicine. 
... (molemo wa mala )
...a razor. 
(legare )
...an umbrella. 
(sekhukhu )
...sunblock lotion. 
(setlolo sa go ithireletsa letsatsi )
...a postcard. 
( )
...postage stamps. 
(stempe sa poso )
...batteries. 
( )
...writing paper. 
(pampiri ya go kwalela )
...a pen. 
(pena )
...English-language books. 
(buka ya sekgoa/se esemane )
...English-language magazines. 
( )
...an English-language newspaper. 
(pampiri ya dikgang ya sekgoa )
...an English-English dictionary. 
( )

DrivingEdit

I want to rent a car. 
(ke batla go adimisa koloi )
Can I get insurance? 
( )
stop (on a street sign
(ema )
one way 
(tsela ele nngwe )
yield 
( )
no parking 
( )
speed limit 
(selekanyetso sa lobelo )
gas (petrol) station 
( )
petrol 
( )
diesel 
( )

AuthorityEdit

I haven't done anything wrong. 
(ga ke a dira sepe se se molato )
It was a misunderstanding. 
(e ne e le tlhoka kutlwisisanyo )
Where are you taking me? 
(o nkisa kae? )
Am I under arrest? 
(a ke tsena mo kgolegelong? )
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
(ke moagedi wa ko america/australia/britis/canadian )
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
( )
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
(ke batla go bua le mmueledi )
Can I just pay a fine now? 
(a ke ka duela madi a molato jaanong?)

Learning moreEdit

Setswana Info wiki - A Tswana reference for residents of Botswana

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