Lesotho Sesotho Forms of Greeting

This page has forms of greeting using Lesotho Sesotho (SASe), click here for more on how it is done using the orthography of South African Sesotho (SASe).

SINGULAR

ENGLISH SESOTHO
Good day / Greetings Lumela
Peace Khotso
Hello/Good day ...
father
mother
boy
girl
Mr ...
Mrs ...
Miss ...
Lumela ...
ntate
'me
moshemane
ngoanana
Monghadi ...
Mofumahadi ...
Mofumahatsana ...
1) How are you?
(Literally: Where are you?)
1) U kae?
1) I'm fine, and you ?
(Literally: I'm here, where are you?)
1) Ke teng, wena o kae ?
2) How are you?
(Literally: How are you living?)
2) U phela joang?
2) I'm fine, and you?
(Literally: I'm living fine, how are you living?)
2) Ke phela hantle, Uena u phela joang?
Goodbye (to person staying) Sala hantle.
Goodbye (to person leaving) Tsamaea hantle.
Have a safe journey.
(Literally: White road)
Tsela tsoeu.

Take note that it is more polite to call an older male person ntate (father) and an older female person 'me (mother). For a person of a similar age as the speaker aubuti (older brother) is used for males and ausi (older sister) for females. For very old people ntatemoholo (grandfather) and nkgono (grandmother) is used. 

This is a way in which respect is shown. Furthermore it is important to these words do not necessarily indicate a family relation.

 

PLURAL

ENGLISH SESOTHO
Good day Lumelang
Peace Khotsong
Hello/good day ...
boys
girls
everyone
men
women
people
ladies and gentlemen
Dumelang ...
bashemane
banana
ba moreneng
banna
basali
batho
bo-'me le bo-ntate
How are you ? Le kae ?
I'm fine, and you ? Re teng, le kae ?
Goodbye (to people staying) Salang hantle.
Goodbye (to people leaving) Tsamaeang hantle.

The plural form of greeting is also sometimes used in order to show respect towards a person. For example, one would say lumelang ntate (good day father) instead of what would be perceived to be more grammatically correct lumela ntate (good day father) in order to show respect. 


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J. Olivier (2009)