Zulu/Lesson 1

Lesson 1Edit

This introductory lesson provides a simple conversation with a table of all the vocabulary used. Then the ways to say your name or the names of others is provided.

HelloEdit

UPhilani ubingelela umngane wakhe, uLindi.

uPhilani: Sawubona Nandi.
uNandi: Sawubona Philani.
uPhilani: Unjani?
uNandi: Ngikhona, wena unjani?
uPhilani: Nami ngikhona. Hamba kahle.
uNandi: Sala kahle.
isiZulu isiNgisi
Sawubona Hello
Unjani? How are you?
Ngikhona I'm fine
Wena You
Nami Also (and me)
Sala Stay
Hamba Go
Kahle well

The first exchange illustrates a fairly casual or familiar tone. It is both more formal and more polite to use the plural forms, eg:

uJacob: Sanibonani
uNjabulo: Yebo, sanibonani.
uJacob: Ninjani?
uNjabulo: Sikhona, nina ninjani?
uJacob: Nathi sikhona.
isiZulu isiNgisi
Sanibonani Hello
Ninjani? How are you?
Sikhona We're fine
Nina You (plural)
Nathi Also (and us)

It would normally be considered somewhat rude and abrupt to say goodbye just then. An exchange of pleasantries would normally follow such greetings, but in large cities, since people are often busy, this short conversation is sufficient.

A very polite way of saying farewell would be:

uJacob: Nihambe kahle.
uNjabulo: Nisale kahle.

NotesEdit

  1. Sanibona(ni) where the final ni may or may not be used

Introducing peopleEdit

Philani introduces his friend Thabo to Nandi.

uPhilani: Nandi, Lo umgane wami, uThabo.
uNandi: Ngiyajabula ukukwazi!
uThabo: Nami, ngiyajabula ukukwazi!

Thabo introduces himself to Nosipho.

uThabo: Igama lami nguThabo!
uNosipho: Ngiyajabula ukukwazi! NginguNosipho.
uThabo: Ngiyajabula ukukwazi!
isiZulu isiNgisi
Igama Name
-mi my
Lo (Lona) This
Nina You (plural)
Ngiyajabula ukukwazi I'm pleased to know you.
Umngane Friend
Ngingu- I'm

The above table says that -mi means my but la- that is added to it is for agreement. Lami agrees with igama. The same is true for wami: the wa- agrees with umngane.

How are you?Edit

Philani sees his friend Thabo in the street.

uPhilani: Sawubona Thabo!
uThabo: Yebo, sawubona Philani!
uPhilani: Unjani?
uThabo: Ngisaphila, wena unjani?
uPhilani: Angiphilile kahle.
isiZulu isiNgisi
Angiphilile kahle I'm not well.

SurnameEdit

Nandi tells Thabo her surname.

Nandi: Isibongo sami uNdlovu.
uThabo: NgingowakwaKhumalo.
isiZulu isiNgisi
Isibongo Surname
Ngingowakwa- I'm of the family of

SummaryEdit

  • We can say hello: Sawubona, Sanibona.
  • Ask people how they are: Unjani?, Ninjani?.
  • Say how you are: Ngisaphila, ngikhona, angiphilile.
  • Introduce yourself: Igama lami ngu-, Ngingu-.
  • Introduce others: Lo ngu-.
  • Say your surname: Isibongo sami, Ngingowakwa-.

Next stepEdit

Try the Exercise or go the next Lesson 2.

Last modified on 28 July 2012, at 16:22