Learning a new language is not an easy task to do and mostly takes up a lot of time. In this world that we live in time is EVERYTHING. So, here are some easy Sesotho phrases to use, to make communication easy when visiting the area around Clarens or even Lesotho!

  1. Dumela/ Dumelang– this is a way of greeting. It can be used with either one person or a group of people. Usually when you greet one person you would use “Dumela” and for a group people “Dumelang”. Easy right!
  2. O kae/ Le kae?“How are you doing or feeling?”. With these phrases, you can use any of them to address either one person or a collective, it does not matter. For the sake of understanding, ” O kae?” would be used for one person and ” Le kae?” would be to address a collective.
  3. Ke teng/ Re teng” I am fine”. Most people in the “Basotho” community would usually reply with “Re teng” simply meaning “we are fine” and “Ke teng” means ” I am fine”. Whether you reply with “Ke teng/ Re teng” it does not matter at all. It all means one thing.
  4. Ke a leboha/ Re a leboha “Thank You”. “Ke a leboha” would usually be used by one person meaning “I, Thank You”. “Re a leboha” would usually be from a collective, simply meaning “We Thank You”. The most common phrase used is ” Ke a leboha” . Thank you!
  5. Ke a Kopa– this phrase can be used to “ASK” and to say “Please” When you ask someone for something you usually use “Ke a kopa”. For example, ” May I please have water?” ” Ke a kopa metsi?”. And when you say ” Please, Mom?” ” Ke a kopa, Mama?”.
  6. Tshwarelo– “I am sorry/Excuse me” . When you ask someone for forgiveness we use ” tshwarelo” in a sentence it will be “Ke a kopa thswarelo”. Also, when you want to be excused you use the phrase “tshwarelo”, easy right?. Lastly, when you want to ask for directions : “Excuse me, where can I find the store?” ” Tshwarelo, lebenkeleng ke ho kae?”.
  7. Eya-” Yes” . This is a simple way to agree to something.
  8. Tjhehe– “No“. This is a simple way to disagree with something.
  9. Sala hantle/ Salang hantle“Good-Bye“. When you say good-bye to a collective, you will use “Salang hantle” and when you are addressing an individual “Sala hantle”.
  10. O amohelehile– “Welcome“. In a simple sentence ” You’re Welcome to Clarens “, ” O amohelehile Clarens”.

I hope and believe that this will be useful to everyone who is excited to learn Sesotho and mend in with the community when visiting either Clarens, Lesotho or any other Basotho community. After all, learning a new language is fun. Ke a leboha!