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Home > Tourist information : Culture & history > History

Culture & History

Language

Setswana is the national language and English is the official language.

Here are some of the basic phrases in Setswana:

English Setswana Hear it!
Yes Ee (Ee, mma - answering a woman, ee rra - answering a man)
No Nnyaa, mma / rra
Hello (to a woman) Dumela, mma (Dumelang, bo mma - plural)
Hello (to a man) Dumela, rra (Dumelang, bo rra - plural)
How are you? Le kae? O tsogile jang?
Good bye - it is OK Go siame
Go well Tsamaya sentle
Stay well Sala sentle
Thank you Ke itumetse
I do not know Ga ke itse ("g" is pronounced as "r" in French)
Do you speak Setswana? A o bua Setswana?
I speak Setswana just a little Ke bua Setswana go le gonnye fela
I don't speak Setswana Ga ke bue Setswana
No problem Ga gona mathata
I am fine Ke tsogile sentle. Ke teng
Come in Tsena (Tsenang - plural)
Come here Tla kwano
How much is this? Ke bo kae?
I don't have any money Ga ke na madi
What would you like? O batla eng? or O rata eng?
I want some water Ke batla metsi