Zulu Phrases

This page contains a table including the following: Zulu phrases, expressions and words in Zulu, conversation and idioms, Zulu greetings, and survival phrases. It also helps if you simply want to know what to say when chatting in Zulu!

Most of the sentences below are used for everyday life conversations, so they might come handy if you memorize them.

Zulu Phrases


    

English Phrases Zulu Phrases
 
English Greetings Zulu Greetings:
Hi! Sawubona! (to a person)
Sanibona! (to persons)
Good morning! Sawubona! (to a person)
Sanibona! (to persons)
Good evening! Sawubona! (to a person)
Sanibona! (to persons)
Welcome! (to greet someone) Ngiyakwemukela! (to a person)
Ngiyanemukela! (to persons)
How are you? Unjani?
I'm fine, thanks! Ngikhona, ngiyabonga! / Ngiyaphila, ngiyabonga!
And you? Wena unjani?
Good/ So-So. Ngisaphila! / Angiphili kakhulu!
Thank you (very much)! Ngiyabonga (kakhulu)!
You're welcome! (for "thank you") Kulungile!
Hey! Friend! Heyi! Mngani!
I missed you so much! Ngikukhumbulile kangaka!
What's new? Zithini ezintsha?
Nothing much Lutho oluningi!
Good night! Lala kahle! (to a person)
Lalani kahle! (to persons)
See you later! Sizobonana!
Good bye! Sala kahle! (to a person staying)
Salani kahle! (to persons staying)
Hamba kahle! (to a person leaving)
Hambani kahle! (to persons leaving)
Asking for Help and Directions
I'm lost Ngilahlekile.
Can I help you? Ngingakusiza na?
Can you help me? Ungangisiza na?
Where is the (bathroom/ pharmacy)? Likuphi (ikamelo lokugezela / ikhemisi)?
Go straight! then turn left/ right! Qonda ngqo! Khona-manjalo jikela ngakwesobunxele / ngakwesokudla!
I'm looking for john. Ngifuna uJohane.
One moment please! Siza ulinde umzuzu owodwa!
Hold on please! (phone) Siza ulinde umzuzu owodwa!
How much is this? Kubiza malini?
Excuse me ...! (to ask for something) Uxolo!
Excuse me! ( to pass by) Uxolo!
Come with me! Woza nami!


    

How to Introduce Yourself
 
Do you speak (English/ Zulu)? Ukhuluma (isiNgisi / isiZulu) na?
Just a little. Kancane kodwa.
What's your name? Ngubani igama lakho?
My name is ... Igama lami ngu...
Mr.../ Mrs.…/ Miss… uMunz ... / uNkk ...
Nice to meet you! Ngiyajabula ukukwazi!
You're very kind! Umusa kakhulu!
Where are you from? Uphumaphi?
I'm from (the U.S/ South Africa) Ngiphuma (eMelika / eNingizimu Afrika).
I'm (American) Ngigowaze eMerika.
Where do you live? Uhlalaphi?
I live in (the U.S/ South Africa) Ngihlala (eMerika / eNingizimu Afrika).
Did you like it here? Ukuthandile lapha na?
Choose
1) Durban / Johannesburg is a wonderful city. 1) iThekwini / iGoli lidolobha elimangalisayo.
2) South Africa is a wonderful country 2) iNingizimu Afrika lizwe elimangalisayo.
What do you do for a living? Usebenzani?
I work as a (translator/ businessman) Ngisebenza njengomhumushi / njengosomabhizinisi.
I like Zulu Ngithanda isiZulu.
I've been learning Zulu for 1 month Bengifunda isiZulu inyanga eyodwa.
Oh! That's good! Kukhule!
How old are you? Uneminyaka emingaki?
I'm (twenty, thirty...) years old. Ngineminyaka (eshumi ebili / eshumi ethathu ...).
I have to go Ngifanele ngihambe.
I will be right back! Ngizobuya!
Wish Someone Something
Good luck! Ngikufisela inhlanhla!
Happy birthday! Halala ngosuku lokuzalwa!
Happy new year! Unyaka omusha omuhle!
Merry Christmas! UKhisimusi omuhle!
Congratulations! Ngiyakuhalalisela!
Enjoy! (for meals...) Thokoleza ukudla!
I'd like to visit South Africa one day Ngiyothanda ukuvakasha iNingizimu Afrika ngelinye ilanga.
Say hi to John for me Ngikhonele uJohane.
Bless you (when sneezing) ??
Good night and sweet dreams! Ubusuku obuhle namaphupho amamnandi!
Solving a Misunderstanding
I'm Sorry! (if you don't hear something) Ngiyaxolisa!
Sorry (for a mistake) Phephisa!
No Problem! Akunkinga!
Can You Say It Again? Ukwazi ukukuthi futhi na?
Can You Speak Slowly? Ukwazi ukukhuluma ngokudonda na?
Write It Down Please! Siza ubhale phansi!
I Don't Understand! Angizwa!
I Don't Know! Angazi!
I Have No Idea. Anganomkhankanyo!
What's That Called In Zulu? Leyinto uyisho kanjani ngesiZulu?
What Does "gato" Mean In English? ... ukusho kanjani ngesiNgisi?
How Do You Say "Please" In Zulu? ... ukusho kanjani ngesiZulu?
What Is This? Yini le?
My Zulu is bad. IsiZulu sami sibi.
I need to practice my Zulu Ngidinga ukuzijwayeza isiZulu sami.
Don't worry! Musa ukwenqena!
Zulu Expressions and Words
Good/ Bad/ So-So. Kuhle / Kubi
Big/ Small Kukhulu / Kuncane
Today/ Now Namhlanje / Manje
Tomorrow/ Yesterday Kusasa / Izolo
Yes/ No Yebo / Cha
Here you go! (when giving something) Nazo-ke!
Do you like it? Uyakuthanda na?
I really like it! Ngiyakuthanda ngempela!
I'm hungry/ thirsty. Ngilambile. / Ngomile!
In The Morning/ Evening/ At Night. Ekuseni / kusihlwa / ebusuku
This/ That. Here/There Lokhu / lokho. Lapha / Lapho.
Me/ You. Him/ Her. Mina / wena. Yena / yena.
Really! Ngempela!
Look! Bheka!
Hurry up! Jahela!
What? Where? Yini? Ngaphi?
What time is it? Sikhathi sini?
It's 10 o'clock. 07:30pm. Isikhathi ngu10. Isikhathi ngu7.30 kusihlwa.
Give me this! Ngibize le!
I love you! Ngiyakuthanda!
I feel sick. Ngiyagula.
I need a doctor Ngidinga udokotela.
One, Two, Three kunye, isibili, kuthathu
Four, Five, Six okune, isihlanu, isithupha
Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten isikhombisa, isishiyagalombili, isishiyagalolunye, ishumi

I hope the content of this page was useful to you, and that you learned some Zulu phrases, expressions and words. Make sure to memorize them to be able to use them in your daily conversation. If you want to practice what you have learnt here, go to Language Test.