Greetings in the 11 Officials South African languages-sandton-pretoria-capetown-durban

GREETINGS IN THE 11 OFFICIAL SOUTH AFRICAN LANGUAGES

South Africa is known to have 11 official languages, this is because it has diverse cultures, heritage and people. The official languages are Northern Sotho also known as Sesotho sa Leboa, Siswati, Setswana, Tshivenda, Afrikaans, Xitsonga, English, Sesotho, IsiNdebele, IsiZulu and IsiXhosa. Pre 1994 English, Dutch and Afrikaans were South Africa’s official languages and none of those languages represented the spoken language of the majority indigenous population. In 1996 a new Constitution was written, which vowed to protect the rights of all South Africans, including the major languages spoken by the majority of the population. There are roughly 34 historically rooted languages in South Africa. There are four extinct Khoesan languages and thirty surviving ones. To get you more in tune with the diversity of South Africa below are greetings in the 11 official South African languages.

Greetings in the 11 official South African languages

EnglishHelloGood morningGood afternoonGood evening
AfrikaansHalloGoeie môreGoeie middagGoeie naand
Northern SothoDumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)Dumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)Dumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)Dumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)
IsiZuluSawubona (Singular), Sanibonani (Plural)Sawubona (Singular), Sanibonani (Plural)Sawubona (Singular), Sanibonani (Plural)Sawubona (Singular), Sanibonani (Plural)
IsiXhosaMolo (Singular), Molweni (Plural)Molo (Singular), Molweni (Plural)Molo (Singular), Molweni (Plural)Molo (Singular), Molweni (Plural)
SesothoDumela (Singular) Dumelang (Plural)Dumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)Dumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)Dumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)
IsiNdebeleLotjhani/SalibonaniLotjhani/SalibonaniLotjhani/SalibonaniLotjhani/Salibonani
SetswanaDumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)Dumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)Dumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)Dumela (Singular), Dumelang (Plural)
SiSwatiSawubonaSawubonaSawubonaSawubona
TshivendaNdaa! (Male), Aa! (Female)Ndi matsheloniNdi masiariNdi madekwana
XitsongaXewaniAvuxeniInhlikanhiReperile

Detailed greetings in the 11 Official South African languages

Greetings in the 11 Officials South African languages-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durban

Afrikaans

Hello – Hallo

How are you? – Hoe gaan dit met jou? (More respectful: Hoe gaan dit met U?)

I am fine. – Dit gaan goed met my.

Fine, thank you. – Goed dankie.

Goodbye – Totsiens

North Sotho

Hello – Dumela

How are you? – O kae? (singular) Le kae? (plural)

I am fine. – Ke gona.

I am fine, thank you. – Le nna ke gona, ke a leboga.

Goodbye – Gabotse

IsiNdebele

Hello – Lotjhani

How are you? – Unjani?

I am fine. – Ngikhona.

Fine, thank you. – Ngikhona ngiyathokoza.

Goodbye – Salakuhle.

IsiXhosa

Hello – Molo

How are you? – Unjani?

I am fine. – Ndiyaphila.

I am fine, thank you. – Ndiyaphile, enkosi.

Goodbye – Hamba kakuhle (go well) / Sala kakuhle (stay well)

IsiZulu

Hello – Sawubona (First person singular) / Sanibona (First person plural)

How are you? – Unjani?

I am well. – Ngisaphila.

I am fine, thank you. – Ngisaphila ngiyabonga.

Goodbye – Hamba kahle (go well) / Sala kahle (stay well)

Sesotho

Hello – Dumela

How are you? – O kae? 

I am fine. – Ke teng.

Goodbye – Tsamaya hantle (go well) / Sala hantle (stay well)

Setswana

Hello – Dumela

How are you? – O kae?

I am fine. – Ke teng.

Goodbye – Tsamaya sentle (go well) / Sala sentle (stay well)

Siswati

Hello – Sawubona

How are you? – Unjani?

I am fine. – Ngikhona

I am fine, thank you. – Ngikhona ngiyabonga

Goodbye – Sala kahle

Tshivenda

Hello – Ndaa / Aa

How are you? – Vho vuwa hani?

I am fine, thank you. – Ne ndo takala vhukuma.

Goodbye – Salani (when talking to a young person) / Kha vha sale (when referring to an adult)

Xitsonga

Hello – Avuxeni

How are you? – Ku njhani?

I am fine. – Ndzi kona.

I am fine, thank you. – Ndzi kona ndza nkhensa.

Goodbye – Sala kahle

Which Language is spoken in which province

Greetings in the 11 Officials South African languages-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-2023

South Africa has nine provinces and in each province, there is a commonly spoken official language or languages. In Gauteng 11.6% of people speak Sesotho,12.4% speak Afrikaans,13.3% speak English and 19.8% speak isiZulu. In the Eastern Cape 10.6% of the population speak Afrikaans, while 78.8% speak isiXhosa. 13.2% speak English in KwaZulu-Natal and 77.8% speak isiZulu. In the Free State we have Afrikaans at 12.7% and Sesotho at 64.2%. Limpopo has 52.9% of people who speak North Sotho, 17% speak Xitsonga and 16.7% speak Tshivenda. Western cape has 20.3% of people who speak English, 24.7% who speak isiXhosa and 49.7% who speak Afrikaans. In Mpumalanga 10.1% of people speak isiNdebele, 10.4% speak Xitsonga, 24.1% speak IsiZulu and 27.7% IsiSwati. North West has 63.4% Setswana-speaking people and 9% of people speaking Afrikaans. And finally Northern Cape with 33.1% people speaking Setswana and 53.8% speaking Afrikaans.

Frenchside translation

Now that you know all the greetings in the 11 official South African languages, don’t be shy to greet people in their native tongue the next heritage day. Embrace South African culture and heritage and learn more with Frenchside. Where we can help you with both basic and huge document translations in Afrikaans, English, Northern Sotho, Setswana, Sesotho, Isizulu, Xitsonga, IsiSwati, IsiNdebele, Tshivenda and IsiXhosa. We are dedicated to our clients by providing them with great and up-to-par translation services. Our translators are specialists in their respective fields of work. They are familiar with language and vocabulary used and they offer first-rate services. 

Contact us for quality service. The best you can get.

Tel: 012 348 3134

Mobile: 081 347 6060

info@frenchside.co.za 

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Greetings in the 11 Official South African Languages
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Greetings in the 11 Official South African Languages
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South Africa is a diverse nation with different cultures and 11 Official South African Languages. The blog post will get you in tune with the diversity of South Africa by teaching you how to greet in all 11 official South African Languages.
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