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Welcome to www.NorthernNdebele.blogspot.com

This is a site for anyone interested in picking up some words in the isiNdebele language from Zimbabwe, or "Northern Ndebele". This is a language spoken by people in Southern Africa. This site just has some basic language, and does not in any way entirely cover the huge amount of isiNdebele vocabulary and grammar. Have fun abangane (friends). Please start with the posts at the bottom as this is the beginning, and then work your way to the newest posts. The isiNdebele words, for the most part, are written in bold. Click on the tab at the top "isiNdebele lamuhla" then scroll to the bottom to get started. If you'd like more vocabulary, see the tab "vocabulary words". I hope you learn some of the Ndebele language so you can have at least a few words to say to your Ndebele friends or people you meet in Africa. If you have anything you want to say or you want us to discuss, just comment to let us know. If you want to learn Ndebele more formally, there is the "Lessons" tab above, where we will put lessons up from pronunciation to tenses etc in due time.

16 comments:

  1. PLEASE COULD YOU HELP? I HAVE A FRIEND WHO IS HAVING A TATTOO DONE,WITH THE PHRASE "MADE IN ZIMBABWE" IN NDEBELE, PLEASE COULD YOU SEND ME THE TRANSLATION TO ewan_zim@yahoo.com
    Many thanks Ewan

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    1. Salibonani Ewan, I would use "Ngivela eZimbabwe" - I come from Zimbabwe, or if he is from a certain area, e.g. Gwanda, he could write "Ngivela eGwanda". Hope it turns out well

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  2. wahat doese mina ngiyasola ukuthi usukombe iNdebele mean in english

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  3. Salibonani, there are some spelling mistakes so I can't make out exactly what the phrase means but it looks like "Me, I am regretting that ... Ndebele". Maybe it was something like "Mina ngiyasola ukuthi awukhulumi siNdebele", which would be "Personally, I regret that you/ he can't speak Ndebele".

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  4. What that actually means is "I suspect you have court a Ndebele" meaning you are in love with a Ndebele.

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  5. This blog looks great. I've just got back from three weeks in Bulawayo. I loved it. Want to impress my new family when I return next year. Keep up the good work, its appreciated. Theres not enough isiNdebele on the internet.
    Sharp sharp.

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  6. Hi, may you kindly explain this as it confuses readers. Is the language that you state on this blog as isi Ndebele, not actually isiZulu or a dialect of it? I am requesting clarity on the labeling because there is clear difference between the labels or names of the languages, their speakers customs and the spoken substance. My request is based on the blatant fact that, there are distinct differences between isi Ndebele spoken by amaNdebele from Kwa Ndebele in North Eastern part of present day South Africa and isi Zulu spoken by amaZulu from KwaZulu in South Eastern part of modern day South Africa, but yet there is little to minor difference between the said isiZulu and isi "Ndebele" of kwaBulawayo in modern day Zimbabwe. There is no similarity between that spoken in Kwa Ndebele and Kwa Bulawayo but there are identical speech words, phonetic right down speakers customs between that spoken in KwaZulu and Kwa Bulawayo. Your answer to this can actually guide those seeking to correctly learn the language your website seeks to teach and promote by what appears to be a case of deliberate mislabelling. Thanks

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    1. Hi Anonymous, thank you for your questions. Yes, the language we are giving an introduction to is northern isiNdebele (hence the blog name). It is very similar to isiZulu, with some noticeable differences in, for instance, pronounciation. For example "tsh" as in umtshayeli is pronounced 'sh' in isiZulu but 'ch' in isiNdebele. You are definitely correct- Southern Ndebele and Northern Ndebele are very different, and this blog describes what you call 'kwaBulawayo'. It can be confusing hence we describe it as Northern Ndebele to try explain it further. Thanks again for the clear questions and we hope they were answered mngane

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  7. Hi, I was wondering if you can help. I would like to write a birthday message for my friend in Ndebele. Can you please translate this part for me: I hope you have a blessed year and become a very very old man.
    Lots of Love.

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    1. Ukhule ukhokhobe. Grow old until you are ...ancient for lack of a better word. It is a term of endearment though. I suspect the birthday has passed though :)

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  8. Fantastic site - will be forwarding to all my family the link

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    1. You're welcome, haha, that is great.

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  9. I like it here to learn isiNdebele. Amandla!

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  10. Salibonani. Can you help me with the words for wind, breeze, air. I checked your list of vocab words and found the words for breathe and blow, but they are verbs. Am I missing a list of nouns? Siyabonga

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Comment lapha please