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:


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)


  1. Salibonani is 'not we see you' Salibonani is a plural form greeting which means hello.

    Therefore 'we see you' in isindebele is 'siyalibona' which is not a way of greeting.

    Hence Salibonani? response is 'yebo'

    Linjani? response 'siyaphila singabuza lina' which is 'we are fine, and how are you?

    Response Siyaphila.

  2. Uxolo all is well in IsiNdebele apart from the translation into English.

    Salibonani is 'Hello' not we see you.

    Sikhona/Siyaphila singabuza lina? (We are fine thank you, and how are you?)

    Sikhona/Siyaphila (We are fine/well)


Comment lapha please