Forms of Greeting

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

SINGULAR

ENGLISH SESOTHO
Good day Dumela
Good morning Mmoro
Hello Helele
Peace Kgotso
Hi Hai
Good evening Fonane
Hello/Good day ...
father
mother
boy
girl
Mr ...
Mrs ...
Miss ...
Dumela ...
ntate
mme
moshemane
ngwanana
Monghadi ...
Mofumahadi ...
Mofumahatsana ...
1) How are you?
(Literally: Where are you?)
1) O 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) O phela jwang?
2) I'm fine, and you?
(Literally: I'm living fine, how are you living?)
2) Ke phela hantle, wena o phela jwang?
Goodbye (to person staying) Sala hantle.
Goodbye (to person leaving) Tsamaya hantle.
Have a safe journey.
(Literally: White road)
Tsela tsweu.

Take note that it is more polite to call an older male person ntate (father) and an older female person mme (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 Dumelang
Good morning Mmorong
Hello Helele
Peace Kgotsong
Hi Hai
Good evening Fonaneng
Hello/good day ...
boys
girls
everyone
men
women
people
ladies and gentlemen
Dumelang ...
bashemane
banana
ba moreneng
banna
basadi
batho
bomme le bontate
How are you ? Le kae ?
I'm fine, and you ? Re teng, le kae ?
Goodbye (to people staying) Salang hantle.
Goodbye (to people leaving) Tsamayang hantle.

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


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J. Olivier (2016)