News & Tips
Local people all over the world appreciate when visitors make an effort to embrace their local culture and language.
The benefit to the traveller is an extended enjoyment of the time away as well as the hospitality shown by the locals. Sometimes just being able to greet and say a few basic phrases opens a whole new world of goodwill and enjoyment.
This article lists a few basic words and expressions in SiSwati and gives a few pointers to the local culture.
The people of Swaziland have two languages, SiSwati and English. The Swazi or siSwati language is a Bantu language of the Nguni group spoken in Swaziland and South Africa by the Swazi people. The number of speakers is estimated to be in the region of 3 million. The language is taught in Swaziland and some South African schools in Mpumalanga, particularly former KaNgwane areas. Swazi is an official language of Swaziland (along with English), and is also one of the eleven official languages of South Africa.
The people of Swaziland are friendly and it is important to understand that it is essential to greet someone before asking their name or any other questions.
Here are a few words and phrases that will delight the local population if you speak to them!
Hello – Sawubona; Good morning: Kusile; How are you? – Unjani?
I am fine, thank you – Ngikhona ngiyabonga
Goodbye / stay well – Sala kahle (pr. Karshlay) Go well – Hamba kahle.
Good luck – Inhlanhla lenhle (pr.inklunkla lenkle)
How much is this? – Kubita malini loku?
What is the time? – Ngicela sikhatsi?
Where are you going? – Uya kuphi?
yes – yebo; no – cha
please – ngiyacela; thank you – ngiyabonga
you’re welcome – wamukelekile
emergency – simo lesibucayi
excuse me – lucolo
come here – wota lapha
I am sorry – Ngiyacolisa
What is your name? Ngubani ligama lakho?
My name is Sam. And you? Ligama lamin ngu Sam. Wena ke?
I am Sipho. Mine ngingu Sipho.
I am pleased to meet you. Ngiyajabula kukwati.
And me too. Nami futsi.
You can take time to learn by downloading these Local words and phrases
Now, how about booking a trip to Swaziland to practise your language skills? Find out first hand how friendly the Swazi people are and thrill them with your greetings to them. Drop an email today to firstname.lastname@example.org