Bemba Phrases

The work that we do in Zambia is predominantly in Ndola although many educated people speak English the language spoken by the majority of people in this area is the tribal dialect of Bemba. Here are some Bemba phrases...very useful if you should come to visit as a volunteer.

ENGLISH BEMBA
My name is..... Ishina lyandi ni.....
What is your name? Niwe nani?
His/her name Ninani
Are you Mr John? Ni we John?
Let me introduce.... Inkewebe.....
My colleague Uotuomba nae
My friend Umunandi
I'm pleased to meet you Natemwa pakukumona
How are you? Muli Shani (formal) / Ulishani
I'm fine thanks & you? Bwino, ngaiwe?
How are things? Ifintu filishani
Where are you from? Wafumakwisa
I'm from Great Britain Nafuma ku Great Britain
Where do you live? Wikala kwisa?
I live in London Njikala ku London
How do you say this in Bemba? Mulanda shani ifi mu
Do you know English? Walishimba icisungu?
Yes a little We panono
I don't speak Bemba well Nshaishiba Benma sana
Could you please speak more slowly Landa panono panono
Do you understand? Waumfwa
I don't understand Nshumfwile
I'm sorry Mbelelako uluse
Could you please repeat that? Bwekeshapo
Excuse me Mbelelako uluse
Have you been to Africa before? Waliyako ku Africa?
This is my first visit to Zambia Elonaisako ku Zambia
Lunch Kakulya cakasuba
Dinner Kakulya cakungule
Food Ifyakulya
Please come in Ingileni
Please sit down Ikaleni
Would you like something to eat Mulefwaya Ifyakulya
To drink Ifyakunwa
Do you like the food? Mulefwaya ifyakulya?
The food is delicious Ifyakulya nafiwama
Thanks for a wonderful time Natotela sana
Yes Ee
No Awe
Ok Bweno
Please Mukwai
Thank you very much Natolela sana / tatotela sana
Hello Ulishani / Mulishani
Good morning Mwaikaleni
Good afternoon Cungulo mukwai
Good night Sendamenipo
Goodbye Shalenipo
See you later Tukamonana
Come again soon Mukese bwangu
What are you doing? Ulecita inshi?
Where are you going? Waja kwisa?
I'm going to work Naya kuncito
Could we go together? Twalaya bonse
We're ready right now Twalaya ililine
Are you ready? Nanifekanya
Please wait for me Ndolela
We are in a hurry/ Let's hurry Twendesheko
I don't know Nshishibe
I don't think so Nshilietoontontanya ifi
I'm cold Nintatala
I'm hot Ninkaba
I'm hungry Ndinensansa
I'm thirsty Ndinecilaka
I'm happy Ndeneusensa
I'm sad Ndinobulanda
I'm tired Ninaka
I'm fine Ndibwino
Please do not disturb Wimfulunganyo
Where is the bathroom? Ukuwakusaukila nikwisa