How to Say Hello in Botswana

Setswana is the national language with minor differences in dialect notable around the country. English is the official business language, and it is widely spoken in urban areas with most written communication being in this language. However, knowing and using a bit of Setswana always helps and Batswana will be pleased that you have made the effort. 

Here are some of the basic phrases in Setswana: 

Yes mam/Yes sirEe (Ee, mma – answering a woman, ee rra – answering a man)
No mam/No sirNnyaa, mma/rra
Hello mamDumela, mma (Dumelang, bo mma – plural)
Hello sirDumela, rra (Dumelang, bo rra – plural)
How are you?Le kae? O tsogile jang?
Good bye – it is OKGo siame
Go wellTsamaya sentle
Stay wellSala sentle
Thank youKea leboga
I do not knowGa ke itse (“g” is pronounced as “r” in French)
Do you speak Setswana?A o bua Setswana?
I speak Setswana just a littleKe bua Setswana go le gonnye fela
I don’t speak SetswanaGa ke bue Setswana
No problemGa gona mathata
I am fineKe tsogile sentle. Ke teng.
Come inTsena (Tsenang – plural)
Come hereTla kwano
How much is this?Ke bo kae?
I don’t have any moneyGa ke na madi
What would you like?O batla eng? or O rata eng?
I want some waterKe kopa metsi

What is hello in Setswana?

dumela. dumelang. Hello/Good Morning/Afternoon. tsoga. tsogile.

How do you say good morning in Botswana?

  1. Dumela means Good day/Morning/Afternoon/Evening. You can say this to anyone at any time of the day.
  2. Dumelang you say this to greet a group of people together.
  3. Gaborone pronounce.
  4. Go Siame means goodbye.
  5. Sharp also means goodbye (but used by young people)
  6. Madi means money.
  7. Dijo (di-dinner, means food.

How do you say welcome in Botswana?

The words rra (sir) and mma (madam) are used in formal phrases.
Useful phrases in Tswana.

EnglishSetswana (Tswana)
WelcomeO amogetswe (sg) Le amogetswe (pl)
Hello (General greeting)Dumela
How are you?O tsogile jang (sg) Le kae? (sg) Le tsogile jang? (pl)
Reply to ‘How are you?’Ke tsogile sentle (sg) Re teng (sg) Re tsogile sentle (pl)

How do Tswana people greet each other?

This is what the book says about this protocol: “The Wayeyi people greet each other with a handshake. If it has been some time since the two have seen each other, they will raise each other’s hand in the air two times and kiss the other’s hand on the inside.

How do you say thank you in Botswana?

Ke a leboga. Thank you very much. Ke leboga go menagane.