Ndebele counting

Linjani bangane? (How're you friends) Today I thought we'd go over some numbers. Again, if you're new, please start with the first post which is at the very bottom of this page, and then work your way up to today's post.
8kuyisitshiyanga lombili
9kuyisitshiyanga lolunye
Just something from the above, when you say "and", you'd use "lo" e.g. ngihamba lomama- I go with my mother. Ngihamba lonyoko- I go with your mother.

Kancane means a little, so if someone asked you how you're doing, you could say "kancane kancane" like the French comme ci-comme ca, or "just ok/ surviving". (The c is the soft c click sound, remember?)

A nice thing to ask in the morning, is "Uvuke njani?" which is good morning, but actually is asking the person how they woke up. To which you would reply, ngivukile - I have woken. If you are speaking to many people, you can use "li" prefix instead of "u", e.g. livuke njani?- how did you (pl) wake?
Ulele njani? - how did you sleep?

Here is another good list I found. It is in French so I put the isiNgisi (English) after the French so lamhla (today) you can learn 2 languages at once:
bonjour (le matin) Good Morninglivuke njani
bonjour (l'après-midi) Good afternoonlitshonile
bonsoir Good eveninglitshone njani
au revoir Goodbyelisale sesihamba / lisale kuhle

excusez-moi Excuse meuxolo / ngixolela
merci Thank you/ We thank you a lotngiyabonga / siyabonga kakulu
homme Manindoda / amadoda
femme Woman/ womenumfazi / abafazi
où ? Where?ngaphi
quand ? Whennini
comment ? How?njani
pourquoi ? Why?ngani
combien ? How much does it cost?yimalini
argent Moneyimali
cher Expensivekuyadula 
eau Wateramanzi
pain Breadisinkwa
poisson Fishinhlanzi or kapenta (small fish eaten from Kariba)
viande Meatinyama
légumes Vegetable/ sumbhida / imibhida
froid It is coldkuyaqanda (like Zulu word kuyabanda)
chaud it is hotkuyatshisa
assez Enoughkwanele (sokwanele- it is enough)
de rien Your welcome/ it's okKulungile (used very often to mean "it's ok", or "ok")

Sure bangane, ngicabanga ukuthi ugrand lamhla (Sure friends, I think that you're grand today. This is a bit of slang though but it's what you'd say in the City of Kings for instance)


  1. Njani I though meant how?? Gr8 stuff though!!

  2. You are quite correct, ngiyabonga

  3. "ngicabanga ukuthi *li*grand"

    Great blog this is!

    Applying for co autho position :)


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