Northern Ndebele

Salibonani bangane

If you are just starting your journey to learn and have fun with isiNdebele, please look at the first posts at the bottom of this page (scroll down) and work your way up to this, the newest post.

We have uploaded a new lessons, including the verb classes which once learnt, are simple to apply nsukuzonke. Nxa uyafuna ukufunda isiNdebele , hamba khonapha khathesi koLessons tab:

 Lessons

Have fun bakithi, we look forward to hearing from you.

♫ Ndebele song artist to listen to while you learn: ♪ Dorothy Masuku♪ e.g Hamba Notsokolo or Magumede.♫


The Weather in Ndebele

Salibonani bangane. Thanks to all those who write in every week to northernndebeleblog@gmail.com.

If you are just starting your journey to learn and have fun with isiNdebele, please look at the first posts at the bottom of this page (scroll down) and work your way up to this, the newest post.

Lamhlanje, let us give a reminder of the basic weather in isiNdebele:

Kuyaqanda - it is cold
Kuyatshisa - it is hot (can also be used for objects, like isinkwa kasitshisi - the bread is not hot)
Ilanga liyatshisa - a more specific way to say it is hot (the sun is hot)
Izulu liyana* - it is raining
Ngiyagodola - I am cold (my body)

*this may be confusing because the Zulu are also a people, speaking isiZulu. In isiNdebele though, izulu means rain.

Kulungile, we have uploaded a few new lessons, so if you would like to learn isiNdebele more formally, continue here in the Lessons tab:

 Lessons

Have fun bakithi, we look forward to hearing from you.

What is Samp?

Salibonani bangane. Thanks to all those who write in every week to northernndebeleblog@gmail.com. Thanks to Kuda for the contribution.

If you are just starting your journey to learn and have fun with isiNdebele, please look at the first posts at the bottom of this page (scroll down) and work your way to this, the newest post.

Lamhlanje, the question is, "What is samp, and what is it called in isiNdebele?"

Well, samp is made from corn/ mealies. Before it can get to a fine powder called "corn flour/ mealie meal" it is just the corn kernels chopped and stamped. This stage is called "samp", and is a common food in Southern Africa.

[Remember, the fine powder is called mealie meal (impuphu) and is used to make isitshwala (also called "pap" in South Africa). To see how isitshwala is made (and peanut butter spinach, which is delicious), see this little YouTube video we found earlier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PdP78WD74g.]

So what is samp in isiNdebele? Well, it is either itshakada or umgqutsu. For siNdebele readers in the community, which word do you use? What traditional drinks and foods do you like - isitshwala senyawuthi, idelele, amasi, amahewu, umqombothi?

Samp (itshakada) is made from coarsely ground dried corn/ mealies.

If you would like to contribute, email us at northernndebeleblog@gmail.comHave fun bakithi, we look forward to hearing from you.

Contact reminder

Salibonani bangane. Kuyagodola lamhlanje (it is cold today).

We are always happy to have volunteers to help with Northern Ndebele for Beginners.

Nxa uyafuna ukusiza (if you would like to help), especially those that have commented who would like to get involved, or you have questions, please email us to say hi:


northernndebeleblog@gmail.com

Kulungile, last sentence: kuyatshisa lamhlanje (it is warm today), I wish.

Some Animals in isiNdebele

Salibonani bangane! (Nice to see you friends).

If you are just starting your journey to learn and have fun with isiNdebele, please look at the first posts at the bottom of this page (scroll down) and work your way to this, the newest post.

Lamhla, let us look at some names of animals (inyamazana) in siNdebele. Some words you may have encountered already. Also, note that we have lessons out here:

 Lessons

Ok, here are some animals that come to mind. Check this list for how many you know, and then test yourself below. Good luck and let us know what your score was or if you think of any other words:
  1. isibaya
  2. ubhabhemi
  3. ibhiza
  4. bhonga
  5. imbuzi
  6. uchago
  7. ichibi
  8. idada
  9. udaka
  10. isidleke
  11. indlovu
  12. indwangu
  13. elusa
  14. ufudu
  15. umfula
  16. iganga
  17. ingulube
  18. igundwane
  19. igwala
  20. ingwe
  21. isihlahla
  22. umhlambi
  23. ihlamvu
  24. inhlanyelo
  25. inhlanzi
  26. umuhlwa
  27. ubuhlungu
  28. inja
  29. inkabi
  30. inkawu
  31. ukhokho
  32. inkomo
  33. inkukhu
  34. inkume
  35. inkunzi
  36. umlindi
  37. luma
  38. isilwane
  39. umangoye
  40. nona
  41. unwabu
  42. amanzi
  43. phapha
  44. impukane
  45. iqaqa
  46. umsila
  47. intanga
  48. ithole
  49. isithutha
  50. isitshebo
  51. inwele
  52. ixoxo
  53. inyamazana
  54. inyathi
  55. inyoka
  56. inyoni
  57. zimuka
  58. zingela

  1. A bit of a trick but this is "a kraal/ holding pen for animals"
  2. donkey
  3. horse
  4. Another trick, it's a "roar/ bellow"
  5. goat (don't be so hard on yourself, manje, you're not that bad)
  6. yet another trick, this is "milk", but it can come from animals
  7. a pond, body of water
  8. a duck
  9. mud, which ducks might walk on
  10. a "nest", perhaps for ducks
  11. elephant (back to animals now)
  12. a name for a "baboon"
  13. a "herd"
  14. tortoise
  15. a river, kanti, pet tortoises don't swim, qaphela!
  16. bushveld, open country
  17. pig, not you though
  18. rat, do you smell one?
  19. a "coward", trick question again
  20. leopard
  21. a tree. Did you think it was only animals?
  22. a "herd or flock" of animals (or people maybe too)
  23. a leaf, fallen from isihlahla above
  24. a seed. It seems the tree comes before the seed, funny hey?
  25. fish
  26. termites (white ants)
  27. pain. These ants bite
  28. dog
  29. an ox
  30. monkey, yes you are silly
  31. ancestor, a good word
  32. cow/ cattle
  33. chicken
  34. scorpion
  35. bull, just a bull
  36. a burrow/ hole animals use
  37. bite, what the animal might do if you go into their burrow
  38. lion. Run!
  39. cat, don't need to run
  40. be fat (especially animals being fat)
  41. chameleon, otherwise known as a hamba bijana
  42. water, another place you might find the idada
  43. fly. A trick, this is "to fly". Ukuphapha
  44. a fly, this one
  45. skunk, uyanuka?
  46. a tail (of the skunk even)
  47. another trick, these are "pumpkin (or squash) seeds"
  48. a calf
  49. another trick, I couldn't resist. This is an "idiotic person"
  50. relish accompanying the starch in a meal to spice it up
  51. hair
  52. a frog. Remember your soft click sound for the X
  53. animals
  54. buffalo
  55. snake
  56. bird
  57. be fat, but only used for people this time
  58. to hunt, animals or people
  59. A bit of a trick but this is "a kraal/ holding pen for animals"
If you scored more than 30, you should be sending me an email with information/ links to share or that you would like us to post on NorthernNdebele: northernndebeleblog@gmail.com. Amhlophe, mngan'ami. If not, see the lessons tab or for some vocabulary, check the vocab tab. Have fun bakithi, we look forward to hearing from you.

Today's story: Money Matters

Samukele! (Welcome).

If you are just starting your journey to learn and have fun with isiNdebele, please look at the first posts at the bottom of this page (scroll down) and work your way to this, the newest post.

Lamhla, let us explore some parts about money in siNdebele.

We know that imali (money) is a ways to a means, angithi? Kulungile, let us explore some words.

A dollar is idola and dollars are amadola. 
Change is intshintshi so you could ask someone, "Lilentshintshi na?" (do you have money please?).

If something is cheap, it is "tshipa", from the noun "ukutshipa", to be cheap. So you could say, "
kutshipile" (it is cheap).

As we saw, imali is "money" and thus malini is "how much money?/ how much does it cost?" If you didn't hear the answer, you could say "utheni?" (what did you say?) or "khuluma futhi" (say it again). You might be saying this at the "isitolo" (the store/ shop).

For more of the formal lessons, see the lessons tab or for some vocabulary, check the vocab tab. Have fun bakithi.

The Prefix for the Negative

Salibonani bangane (nice to see you friends).

If you are just starting your journey to learn and have fun with isiNdebele, please look at the first posts at the bottom of this page (scroll down) and work your way to this, the newest post.

Kulungile, lamhla, let us look at some grammar.

Manje, we can all make sentences like this by now, angithi?

  1. Ngiyahamba (Ngi-ya-hamba) - I am going
  2. Ngifuna itiye eletshukela - I want tea with sugar
  3. Umama ulabantwana - Mother has children
  4. Ngilemali - I have money
Right, well, now we can add the prefix for the negative "a-", so that we say ukuthi:

  • Angihambi (a-ngi-hambi) - I do not go
  • Angifuni - I do not want
  • Angila (a-ngi-la) - I do not have
For example, angilemali (I don't have money). Remember, as shown above, with the negative prefix "a-", oftens comes the ending "-i". For example, it is not angihamba, but angihambi, and it is not angikhuluma, but angikhulumi.

For more formal lessons, see the lessons tab. Have fun bakithi.

 Lessons
Salibonani bangane (nice to see you friends).

If you are just starting your journey to learn and have fun with isiNdebele, please look at the first posts at the bottom of this page (scroll down) and work your way to this, the newest post.

We are always happy to have contributions. Thanks to those who have contributed Ndebele phrases so far. This is a shout out to all other would-be contributors. If there is anything you would like us to put up, please comment or pop an email to:

northernndebeleblog@gmail.com  

or on Northern Ndebele on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/northernndebele

 Northern Ndebele on Facebook
 Northern Ndebele

Thanks for your suggestions and help in teaching people more about the fascinating Ndebele language. Siyabonga kakhulu.



Kulungile, lamuhla, let us go over the numbering again.

Though English numbers are often used in urban settings, these are the numbers in siNdebele:
1kunye
2kubili
3kuthathu
4kune
5kuyisihlanu
6kuyisithupha
7kuyisikhombisa
8kuyisitshiyanga lombili
9kuyisitshiyanga lolunye
10tshumi
Enjoy your journey, njalo siyabonga bakithi.

Alternative isiNdebele greetings

Salibonani bangane (nice to see you friends).

If you are just starting your journey to learn and have fun with isiNdebele, please look at the first posts at the bottom of this page (scroll down) and work your way to this, the newest post.

To continue with learning about the best isiNdebele greetings, see the new lesson 12 here:

 Lessons

Kulungile, lamhla, let us briefly talk about different options for greeting in siNdebele. For example, we can use the verb 'ukubona' (to see) or 'ukubingelela' (to greet):

  • ubabone ekhaya/ abantwana - greet those at home/ the children for me (or literally 'see them at home/ the children'). isiNdebele is a cool language hey?
  • ubabingelela abantwana - greet the children

Remember to give a handshake with your greeting. Until next week, have fun, bakhithi.

Greetings in isiNdebele continued

Salibonani bangane (nice to see you friends). Banjani ekhaya? (How are they all at home?). As always, if you are new, please read from the first post at the bottom of this page and work your way up to the newer posts. Lamhla, let us briefly talk about greeting people in siNdebele. For more detail, please see the new lesson post out here:

 Lessons

Kulungile. When one enters a traditional isiNdebele village, one should stand at the gate a call out "Ekuhle". When someone responds to say yes, "Yebo", one may approach the housing and take a seat so that people from that village may greet one.

The greeting dialogue to address some people could be as follows (with an English translation with a similar meaning):

Salibonani (we see you)

Yebo, salibonani (yes, we see you)

Linjani? (how are you [plural]?)

Sikhona, singabuza lina? (We are here [present], may we ask you?)

Sikhona (We are present)



For more details, see the lessons. Good luck in your journey of learning this southern African language.

Kanti, mina ngizakuhamba khathesi
Hambani kuhle, bangane (go well, friends)

New lesson 9 out

Salibonani bangane (nice to see you friends). As always, if you are new, please read from the first post at the bottom of this page and work your way up to the newer posts. There is a new lesson up now (Lesson 9) if you would like to learn more about asking questions and answering them.
e.g. Abantwana bathanda ukudla - Ye, sibili!
       Children like eating - Yes, indeed (definitely)!

 Lessons

Learning isiNdebele lessons kancane kancane

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. Kulungile, lamhla (ok, today) we would just like to direct you to the new, formal siNdebele lesson.
Lesson 7 is now up if you go to the lessons tab above or click here:

 Lessons

Sharp sharp.

Greetings

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. Kulungile, lamhla (ok, today) let us look at polite greetings you can use in an isiNdebele society:

Ekuseni (in the morning):

Person 1: Uvukile! (Good morning, or more literally "you have woken up")
Person 2: Ngivukile, uvuke njani lawe? (Good morning, how did you sleep yourself?)
Person 1: Ngivukile, ngibuza wena (I slept well if you also slept well)
Person 2: Ngivukile (I have slept well)

Emini (in the afternoon)

Person 1: Utshonile! (Good afternoon)
Person 2:  Ngitshonile, utshone njani wena? (Good afternoon, have you spent the day well yourself?)
Person 1: Ngitshonile, ngingabuza wena (I have spent it well, if you have also spent it well)
Person 2: Ngitshonile (I have spent it well)


Person 1:  Kunjani? (How are you?)
Person 2: Ngiyaphila, kunjani? (I am fine (healthy), how are you?)
Person 1:  Ngiyaphila (I am fine)

People may say 'linjani' instead of 'kunjani' when talking to one person. To this you would reply "siphilile' instead of 'ngiphilile'. If you remember the tenses lesson earlier, 'li' and 'si' are the plural (you pl and we).

After you have finished reading the blog posts from the bottom of this page, you can check out the other tabs at the top of the site such as the formal, free Ndebele lessons. Lesson 5 is now up if you go to the lessons tab above or click here:

 Lessons

Ndebele songs and dancing

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. Lamhla, I want to just show you an interesting siNdebele song we were listening too. It is called Vumelani Isangoma and you can see it on Youtube here:

 Vumelani Isangoma

Also, here is some old but good songs:
by Black Umfolosi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJw18UhMzVo

by Dorothy Masuku: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oL8c7ZAdNU

Njalo, nxa uyafuna ukujiva (And, if you'd like to jive/dance), you can pick up some of the dance moves from these videos:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4846991574932

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj7Y2Mq6jvI

After you have finished reading the blog posts at the bottom of this page, you can check out the other tabs at the top of the site such as the free Ndebele lessons. Lesson 4 is up if you go to the lessons tab above or click here:

 Lessons
Sure bakhithi, enjoy the music, tshaya ngoma (hit that song).

iGrammar ncane (a little grammar)

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. As usual, the Ndebele words are in bold where possible and translated in brackets. After you have finished reading the blog posts at the bottom of this page, you can check out the other tabs at the top of the site such as the free Ndebele lessons. Lesson 4 is now out if you go to the lessons tab above or click here:

 Lessons


Sure, lamuhla sizakuxoxa izindaba eziGrammar (today we will chat about grammar). We hope you are enjoying learning Ndebele and you must feel free to ask questions at any stage in our journey.

Nouns

Plural nouns are often formed in Ndebele by using the prefixes:
o-
ama-
aba-
imi- and
izi-

for example:
ugogo/ ogogo - grandmother/ grandmothers
ilitshe/ amatshe - stone/ stones
umfana/ abafana - boy/ boys
umuzi/ imizi - homestead/ homesteads
indlu/ izindlu - house/ houses

Present tense

For grammar on verbs, see lessons 2 and 3 in the lessons tab. We just want to give you the present tense for 'to be' and 'to have' lamuhla. They are used as prefixes before nouns and verbs respectively.

to be:
ngingu - I am
ungu - you are
ungu - he/ she is
singo - we are
lingo - you are
bango - they are


to have:
ngile - I have
ule - you have
ule - he/she has
sile - we have
ule - you have
bale - they have

for example: ibizo lami ngingu... (my name, I am ...)
hawu, ulamandla babamkhulu! (wow, you have strength grandfather [father big]!)

Sure banganehamba kahle (sure friends, go well).

Lessons 2 and 3 are now out

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. As usual, the Ndebele words are in bold where possible and translated in brackets. After you have finished reading the blog posts at the bottom of this page, you can check out the other tabs at the top of the site.

Lesson 2 is out now if you would like to carry on some formal Ndebele lessons. Click on the "Lessons" tab at the top of this page, or click on this button and it will open in a new tab:

Ndebele lessons

Sure bangane, lalekahle (sure friends, sleep well).

Introduction to the NEW 'Lessons' tab

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. As usual, the Ndebele words are in bold where possible and translated in brackets. If you want to learn isiNdebele more formally, look at the "Lessons" tab. There will be regularly updated Ndebele lessons in this tab: 

 LESSONS

Lamuhla, ngifuna ukulala njengengwenya (today, I want to sleep like a crocodile [made up phrase]) so I will just give you a few new phrases to continue your fun journey. There are other tabs above for you to investigate. 

funa = to want e.g. uyafuna ukuhamba, baba? (do you want to leave, man?)
phakathi = inside
indlu = house
ngwenya = crocodile e.g. amandla ethu njengengwenya emanzini ayesemphakathini (our/ my strength is like a crocodile in the water)
Hayi, suka, ngidiniwe = No, get lost (playful use usually), I am tired) e.g. if someone says a funny joke or plays a prank, you can say "Hayi, suka!" or "hayi, usile!"
Usile = you are silly

Kulungile bangane, khathesi, ngizakulala njengengwenya (Alright friends, now, I am going to sleep like a flat dog (crocodile))

Vocab and a funny Ndebele/ Zulu video

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. As usual, the Ndebele words are in bold where possible and translated in brackets.

Lamuhla kulamavocabulary kuphela (today there is vocabulary only):

(uku)donsa - (to) pull
(uku)tshova - (to) push. The old taxis used to breakdown often so were called "Tshovas" because you had to push them often.
imfe - sugar cane. Yum!
(uku)khipha - (to) take out/ remove
(uku)dobha - (to) pick up
(uku)thatha - (to) take/ grab
unwabu - chameleon. Also, because chameleons move slowly, they are known as "hamba bijana" in chilapalapa slang i.e. "go slowly".
upahla - roof
igwayi - tobacco (there is an area in Zimbabwe called "Gwayi")
(uku)dubula - (to) shoot with a gun
UNkulunkulu - God. e.g. UNkulunkulu angeke ehluleke = God can't fail.
ijodo/ amajodo - pig melon/ pig melons. Some people like to use this to describe a fat person in a mildly derogatory fashion.
ithambo - bone e.g. of animals
inyathi - buffalo
inja - dog. e.g. Inja isayidla inyama (the dog is still eating the meat)
umuthi - medicine
idlozi/ amadlozi - spirit/ spirits of ancestors or just ghosts
ukhokho/ izikhokho - ancestor/ ancestors. For some fun, see the "Izikhokho" youtube videos of the South African comic artist, Mdu, such as: http://goo.gl/4r2nDW.

On that funny note, ngizakuhamba bangane (I will go friends)

Ndebele names

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. As usual, the Ndebele words are in bold where possible and translated in brackets.

Obviously kulamabizo eminengi kodwa (there are names in a great number but) sizakubona khathesi amabizo 'mnandi (we will look now at nice names [in terms of meanings]).
Key: g = usual girl's name and b = usual boy's name but only in my general view.

Nomandla - g "mother of strength"
Noxolo - g "mother of peace/ forgiveness"
Thembile - g "Hopeful"
Nonhlanhla - g "Mother of luck"
Thembeka - g "be reliable"
Thandiwe (Thandi) - g "Beloved" or g "loved one"
Nobuhle/ buhle - g "mother of beauty"/ "beauty"
Thandeka - g "Lovely"
Nomagugu - g "Mother of treasures/ precious things"
Gugulethu - g "our treasure"
Zenzile - g "you are responsible for what you have become"
Nomandla - g "mother of strength"
Nomzamo - g "mother of effort/ attempts"
Nomvula - g "mother of opening rains"
Nomalanga - g "mother of sunshine"
Nomasonto - g "mother of Sunday/ church"
Sibusiswe/ busiswe - g "we're blessed"/ the baby is a blessed one
Sibongile - g "we are grateful/ give thanks"


Xolani - b "peace upon all of you"
Siyabonga - b "we are grateful"
Mandla - b "strength"
Jabulani - b "be happy all"
Lunga - b "be kind"
Themba - b "hope/ trust"
Musa - b "kindness/ mercy"
Nhlanhla - b "good luck/ lucky one"
Njabulo - b "joy/ happiness"
Sandile - b "we have extended in number"
Thabani - b "you all be joyful"
Vusumuzi - b "rekindle the family"
Sifiso - b "what we wished for"
Mthokozisi - b "The one who gives joy"
Simphiwe - b "he is our gift" e.g. simphiwe yiNkosi (he is our gift from God)
Zenzele - b "do it yourself"
Mandlakhe - b "his efforts"
Mlungisi - b "the one who brings order"
Langelihle - b "good day"
Sibusiso - b "blessing"
Mandlenkosi - b "strength of God"
Bonginkosi - b/g "be grateful to God"
Sihawukele - b "have mercy on us"
Dumisani - b "You all give praises". Shortened to "Dumi" sometimes
Ndumiso- b "Praise" a quite common Ndebele name

Sure bangane, lilale kahle (sure friends, sleep well).

Ndebele music. Try translate some of these songs bangane

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. As usual, the Ndebele words are in bold where possible and translated in brackets.

Ok zwana bangane (listen friends), I want you to listen to some good old siNdebele music lamuhla (today). Awufuni (you don't want)? Hayibo (no way), lalela kuphela bangane (just listen only friends) njalo dinga ma'artists leyi (and find these artists). Some of these old but good songs from kudala (a long time ago) are here so just click and it will open a new window:

https://vimeo.com/user22211806

or start with one of my favourites: http://vimeo.com/78022136 or http://vimeo.com/78023619
  • Dorothy Masuka- a great jazz singer and friend and contemporary collaborator of Miriam Makeba
(she wrote the original "Pata Pata" song, "MaGumede" "Khawuleza", "Somandla" etc)
  • Lovemore Majaivana - one of the most popular Ndebele singer e.g. Tshilamoya, Umoya Wami, Uzakufa Kubi, Ngifuna imali etc.

Nxa uyafuna ichallenge (if you would like...), try pick up the words njalo sizakuxoxa (and we will chat) about them. Some vocabulary to help a bit:

Ntombi - girl
umfazi / abafazi - wife/ wives
ngabantu - of the people (abantu = people)
tshisa - (sounds like chisa in Ndebele pronounciation) hot/ burn, but its slang meaning is "that's hot" or "cool"
umoya wami - spirit/ soul of mine
tshilamoya - dustdevil/ spirit, it is used for the football team, Highlander's slogan alongside "Bosso"
pata pata - usually refers to the slip-slop/ pata-pata beach shoes but also refers to dance
Ngifuna imali - I want money
Putting "Ma" in front of someone's name is like saying mama someone, or Mrs, so MaDube is Mother Dube (the name "Dube" means zebra by the way)
khawuleza - hurry up, similar to tshetsha baba, asihambe (hurry man, we are going)
ngithanda - I like e.g. ngithanda isiNdebele (I like Ndebele)
Sihawukele- "have mercy on us". Used in mass and prayers e.g. Nkosi sihawukele, Kristu sihawkele, Nkosi sihawukele (Lord have mercy)
Angizwa - I don't understand (zwa = understand)
Angazi - I don't know (remember, starting with an "a" and ending with an "i" makes a verb negative)

Ok tshomi, hlala kahle (ok buddy, stay well)

Local food in Ndebele

Salibonani bangane (It is nice to see you/ hello friends). As always, if you are new, please read the siNdebele lessons from the bottom (scroll down) and work up to this, the newest post. Kahle, (good) let us look at some ukudla (foods), indigenous fruit and umbhida (vegetables) lamhla (today).

amaputi - roasted maize
impuphu - maize meal (used to make isitshwala/ sadza/ pap)
utshwala- local shake-shake beer made with lots of amanzi (water)
inyawuthi - millet (milled into flour or used in beer brewing)
amabele - sorghum (milled into flour or used in beer brewing)
impuphu yamabele - sorghum flour
amazambane - ground nuts/ peanuts
idobi - peanut butter
amasi - sour milk/ lacto
idelele - bush okra
amatamatisi - tomatoes
izinhlwa - flying ants (you can fry them and they are tasty and oily enough on their own)
intethe- locusts
amacimbi (there is that "c" click to practice) - worms that are dried and eaten as a delicacy
umhobohobo - Mahobohobo/ wild loquat. Similar to loquat yellow fleshy tasty fruit
umganu - marula tree and fruit. Very tasty fruit which can also be made into alcohol
umhlali - sweet monkey orange
uxhakuxhaku (remember the soft click "x" sounds) - snot apple/ African chewing gum
inhlanzi - fish
ihabahaba - dried fruit pith from Monkeybread tree (similar to baobab)
umhlabangubo - black jack


More isiNdebele vocabulary:

ukupheka - to cook e.g. Ngizakupheka 'mabhida - I will cook some vegetables.
igwayi - tobacco
isifuba - chest
abazali - parents
isigubhu - drum/ container
isivalo - lid
isipho - gift (also a good name- "Sipho")
amathumbu- entrails/ stomach lining
lawe futhi - and you also/ as well

Yebo bangane, ngidiniwe kakhulu. Ngifuna ukulala khathesi (Yes friends, I am tired a lot. I want to sleep now). Lala kahle - sleep well!

Modern new Ndebele words and some Ndebele vocab

Salibonani bangane (hello friends), today I want to make a short post. Again, if you are new, please look at the posts right at the bottom (scroll down) and then work your way up to today's newest post.

Ok, I just want to talk about the fact that there are some new/ modern words that there is no real Ndebele words for. The words used are sometimes made by simply placing an "i" in front of the English word, e.g. keyboard= ikeyboard, speaker= ispeaker etc. There are other words for izinto (things) like an aeroplane, which some people say is "iflying machine" but is actually indizamtshina. Also, the name for some things comes from the sound they make e.g. umdududu = motorbike, imoto = motorcar. Kanti, ngicambanga ukuthi (but I think that) you are now worried about the language, so I will leave you with a few real Ndebele phrases to restore your faith:

Uyasebenza lapha aze athole omunye umsebenzi = He is working here until he finds another job.
Izilwane zibulala zibuye zidle = The lions kill and then eat.
Nxa efika abongibona = When he comes he should see me.
Ubatshele ukuthi babohamba ekuseni = Tell them that they should go in the morning.
kanzima = with difficulty
utshani obuluhlaza = grass green (green grass)
ubumnene = kindness
igabha lamanzi = a water container/ tin
amandla okunqoba = power to conquer
kahle = beautifully, nicely, carefully
kakhulu = very, greatly, a lot

Sure bakhithi, ngiyakhuluma kakhulu khathesi (sure folks, I am speaking a lot now)

Hamba kahle bangane (go well friends), sizakubona ( we will see) next time

Ndebele You, me, mine, yours

Salibonani mngane (hello friend). Today, let's look at some vocab about possession and people. If you are new, as always, please start at the bottom of the blog and work up to this post. Ngiyabonga (thanks).

mina - me
wena - you (singular)
thina - we/ us
lina - you (plural)

e.g. Mina, ngingumtshayeli, wena? - Me, I am a driver, and you?
Mina ngudokotela - me, I'm a doctor

Lami - my
Lakho - your
Lakhe - his/ hers

e.g. Ibizo lakho ngubani? - What is your name? (lit: name your is what?)
Ibizo lami nguJohn - My name is John (lit: name of mine is John)
ungaphi umama wami? - where is my mother?
remember that "your mother" has a whole different name to "my mother" i.e. unyoko and umama respectively (similarly uyihlo and ubaba for your/ my father)

(uku)Hlala - (to) stay
Ngaphi - where

Together, they can be put together as: Uhlalaphi? - Where do you stay?

remember that I use "u" for you/him/her but use "ngi" for I, "ba" for they, "si" for we
e.g. mina, ngihlala koBulawayo - me, I stay in Bulawayo
uhlala eGweru - He stays in Gweru
uhlala eGwanda, angithi? you stay in Gwanda, isn't it so?
bahlala eHwange - they stay in Hwange

If you are going to say a place with an "r" in it, just remember that siNdebele technically does not use the "r" sound and so replace it with an "l". e.g. France = eflansi

Yebo mngane, so... uhlalaphi? (yes friend so... where do you stay?)

Ndebele books

Hawu, salibonani bakhithi (wow, greetings folks). As always, if you are new, please read from the post right at the bottom (scroll down) and then finish with today's newest post.

Lamhla sizakuxoxa amabhuku (today we will chat books). There are new links to amazon.com and other places you can order Ndebele books from. Khathesi siyakhangela ilink "Books" phezulu njenge mafree pdf's (now we'll look at the "Books" link at the top for links like these free pdf's):

http://www.biblica.com/bibles/ndebele/ e.g. http://www.biblica.com/uploads/pdf-files/bibles/ndebele/nt/UMathewu.pdf for UMathewu (Matthew).

or a list of Ndebele books at:

http://sites.relzim.org/mambo-press/mambo-press-catalogue/literature-in-ndebele/

such as Ithemba Kalibulali (Hope does not kill):

http://thelionpress.com/productdetail.php?prod_id=440

Nxa uyafuna ukuhamba e"Books", tshova (If you'd like to go to the "Books", push) : http://northernndebele.blogspot.com/p/books-and-resources.html

Ndebele Body parts and Ndololwane Super Sounds

Salibonani bangane, as always, if you are new, please start with the posts at the bottom of the page and work your way up.
Kulungile, lamuhla sizakubona: the human body (umzimba) 

There is a song that goes : ikhanda, inhlombe, isifuba, idolo, amadolo, phansi, amadolo, phansi
which translates to the heads-shoulders-knees-and-toes song 
i.e. head, shoulders, chest, knee, knees, down, knees, down (respectively)

So we know:

ikhanda (the head)
Ihlombe/amahlombe (the shoulders)
isifuba (the chest)
amadolo (the knees)
phansi (down)

Khathesi (now), let's look at some other useful nouns.

Izinwele - Hair
Amehlo - eyes
Amadlebe/Izindlebe - ears
Amakhala - nose
Amafinyela - mucous
Izihlathi - cheeks
Umlomo - mouth
Izindebe - lips
Amazinyo - teeth
Izinsini - gums
Ulimi - tongue
Indevu/izindevu - beard(s)

Indololwane - elbow (there is a band called Ndololwane Super Sounds. I recommend a listen to some of their Ndebele songs e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=GkslNjqC268&feature=fvwp or try this for tastes of their album http://www.simfy.co.za/artists/633701-Ndolwane-Super-Sounds/albums/1375824-Izambane-lika-pondo?locale=en)

Amazwane - toes
Umdidi - anus
Isandla - hand (palm)
Inhliziyo - heart
Isibindi - liver
Amathambo - bones
Impama - open hand slap
Ingalo - arm
Unyawo - foot (e.g. ibhola lenyawo - ball of the foot/ football)
Inqindi - fist
Inqondo - mind/ brain (thank you Mlondolozi Ndlovu)
ubuchopho - brain (thank you Mduduzi NKL)

Vuli' qondo, ngizakufake 'qindi - it has 2 "q" sharp clicks and means "open your mind or I will use my fists". Obviously not for polite company.

Ye, sizakubona kusasa bakhithi (Yeah, we'll see you tomorrow my people)

Ndebele classes

Salibonani bangane. If you are new, please start at the post right at the bottom of the blog and work your way up to today's newest post. Kulungile (ok), lamuhla (today) we will go over the 8 classes in isiNdebele. Nansi (here it is):



njalo (and) some vocabulary:

bonga- thank
bhonga- roar

The difference in the "h" must thus be expressed, and we make the h sound by a sudden rush of air in an aspirated sound. It is not difficult, imagine the first "h" in "hahaha", now put that "h" sound after the "b" in bhonga, so it is b-(air aspirated)-onga.

Now you can say Ngiyabonga (I am thankful/ thank you) and Isilwane iyabhonga (The lion is roaring)

Ndebele click sounds pronounciation

Salibonani mngan'ami (hello my friend or literally "we have seen eachother friend of mine"). If you're new, please start reading from the bottom of this blog upwards. Let us just recap the basic isiNdebele sounds today bangane.


Pronunciation of vowels

There are five basic vowel sounds; aou are very constant and e and i have only slight variation
a is pronounced like a in father; e.g. abantwana (children)
e is pronounced like e in bed; e.g. emoyeni (in the air)
i is pronounced like ee in see; e.g. siza (help)
o is pronounced like o in bone; e.g. okhokho (ancestors)
u is pronounced like oo in soon; e.g. umuntu (person)

In isiNdebele there are three click sounds c, q and x.

c is made by placing the tip of the tongue against the front upper teeth and gums, the centre of the tongue is depressed and the tip of the tongue is drawn backwards. The resulting sound is similar to the sound used in English to express annoyance. Some examples are cina (end), cela (ask)
The q sound is made by raising the back of the tongue to touch the soft palate and touching the gums with the sides and tip of the tongue. The centre of the tongue is depressed and the tip drawn quickly away from the gum. The resulting sound is like the "pop" heard when quickly removing the cork from a bottle. Some examples are qalisa (start), qeda (finish)
The x sound is made by placing the tongue so that the back of the tongue touches the soft palate and the sides and tip of the tongue touch the gums. One side of the tongue is quickly withdrawn from the gums. Some examples are xoxa (discuss), ixoxo (frog).

One last thing: The "tsh" sound in siNdebele is pronounced as "ch" in "chain" or "change". So the word, umtshayeli (driver) would sound like "oom-cha-yeli" and not "oom-sha-yeli" as it does it languages such as isiZulu. Also, kuyatshisa (it is hot e.g. the weather or an object) is pronounced "ku-ya-chisa". Another example would be tshaya (hit) is pronounced "cha-ya" e.g. ngizakutshaya (I am going to hit you). I obviously hope you never hear that phrase though, but there it is.

Sharp sharp bangane(slang for "cool my friends" used in many places in Southern Africa)