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Happy Heritage Day 2018!


Happy Heritage Day 2018!

South Africa is often referred to as the “Rainbow Nation” and with its eleven different official languages it’s easy to see why. Today is the day in the calendar in which we all celebrate the rich diversity of our wonderful country – and there is plenty of diversity to celebrate! 

Here TZ have decided to share some basic greetings from all 11 of the official languages, because as Madiba so wisely said, “when you speak to someone in their mother tongue, you speak straight to their heart“. Let’s greet people in their own language today, and show an appreciation for the wide diversity of cultures and people that make this great and beautiful nation what it is!

Language: isiZulu

Zulu is understood by at least 50% of South Africans, and is the first language of over 11 million people.

Hello! – Sawubona! (to one)/ Sanibona! (to many)
How are you? – Unjani?
I’m fine, thanks. – Ngikhona, ngiyabonga.
Nice to meet you – Ngiyajabula ukukwazi!
Thank you – Ngiyabonga

Language: Afrikaans

Afrikaans is the second most spoken language in South Africa. The language is strongly influenced by Dutch, French, Malay and Khoi Khoi languages. 

Hello! – Haai! / Hallo!
How are you? – Hoe gaan dit met jou/u?
I’m fine, thanks – Goed, dankie
Nice to meet you –Aangename kennis
Thank you – Baie dankie (famously pronounced “buy a donkey”)

Language: isiXhosa

The Xhosa originated from the Eastern Cape region of South Africa and have a complex language characterised by clicking sounds.

Hello! – Molo (to one) / Molweni (to many)
How are you? – Unjani? (to one) / Kunjani? (to many)
I’m fine – Ndiphilile
Nice to meet you – Ndiyavuya ukukwazi
Thank you – Ndiyabulela

Language: English

English is the most commonly spoken language in official and public life, but it is not common as a home language.  

Language: Sepedi

The language is also referred to as Northern Sotho. Sepedi is the language of the Pedi people of Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

Hello – Dumela (to one) / Dumelang (to many)
How are you – O kae? (to one) / Le Kae? (to many)
I’m fine – Ke gona
Thank you – Ke a leboga 

Language: Setswana

The Batswana people who speak Setswana are predominantly from the north-western regions of South Africa.

Hello – Dumela 
How are you – O tsogile jang? Le kae? (to one) / Le tsogile jang? (to many)
I’m fine, thanks – Ke tsogile sentle Re teng
Nice to meet you – Ke itumelela go goitsi
Thank you – Ke a leboga

Language: Sesotho

Sesotho originated from the mountain kingdom of Lesotho and is often referred to as Southern Sotho.

Hello – Dumela (to one) / Dumelang (to many)
How are you – O kae?
I’m fine – Ke teng
Nice to meet you – Ke thabela ho u tseba
Thank you – Ke a leboha

Language: Xitsonga

Xitsonga is spoken by the Batsonga people (also called the Shangaans) in the Limpopo Lowveld.

Hello – Avuxeni
How are you – Ku njhani?
I’m fine – Ndzi kona
Thank you –Ndzi khense ngopfu

Language: siSwati

Originated in Swaziland.  

Hello – Sawubona
How are you – Unjani?
I’m fine – Ngikhona
Thank you – Ngiyabonga

Language: Tshivenda

Tshivenda is the language of the Venda people in the Mapungubwe area of Limpopo. The Venda are culturally closer to the Shona people of Zimbabwe than any other South African group.

Hello – Ndaa/Aa
How are you – Vho vuwa hani?
I’m fine, thanks – Ne ndo takala vhukuma.
Thank you – Ndi a livhuwa

Language: isiNdebele

The Ndebele people live mainly in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, but can also be found in Gauteng.

Hello – Lotjhani / Salibonani
How are you – Unjani (to one) / Linjani (to many)
I’m fine – Ngikhona Sikhona
Nice to meet you – Kuhle ukukubona
Thank you – Ngiyabonga


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