How to Say Yes 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

How are you doing in Botswana?

How are you? – O Kae? How much does it cost? – Ke bokae?

What is I love you in Tswana?

Like and love In Setswana the word for ‘like’ and ‘love’ is the same verb –rata. If one says Ke a go rata it can mean ‘I like you’ or ‘I love you’.

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 is your day in Tswana?

How was your day? in Setswana we say ‘o tlhotse jang / ne le ntse jang letsatsi la gago gompieno‘.