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Chichewa Language Guide

Chichewa Language:

Chichewa is the local language of Malawi. The following will assist you to learn some Chichewa.

Online Chichewa Dictionary: http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/translation/Chichewa/ The following link is helpful too: www.digitaldialects.com/Chichewa.htm

This page consists of a list of some Chichewa words/phrases and their meanings in English. It should be noted that the interpretation is based on their basic meanings. In some contexts the meanings may be different.

Chichewa pronunciation guide.

\a\ as a in father
\e\ as e in bed
\i\ as i in hit
\o\ as o in go
\u\ as u in put

The following has been compiled by Vin Lopes:

Chichewa Practical and Helpful Basics:

Is your morning good?                          Mwadzuka Bwanji?

Reply                           

My morning is good and yourself?                     Ndadzuka Bwino.Kaya Inu?

Or

I’m fine and yourself                                          Ndiri Bwino. Kaya Inu?

Is your afternoon/evening good?                        Mwaswera Bwanji?

Reply                                       

My afternoon/evening is good and yourself?      Ndaswera Bwino.Kaya Inu?

Goodnight                                                        Mugone Bwino

See you later                                                     Tionana

Travel or go well                                                Muyende bwino

See you in the morning                          Tionana Mamawa

I’m leaving or goodbye                          Ndapita or Ndikupita

I’m tired                                                            Ndatopa

I‘m happy                                                          Ndakondwa or Ndakondwera

I’m sick                                                 Ndikudwala

Are you full?                                                     Mwakhuta

I’m full                                                  Ndakhuta

I am sorry                                                         Pepani

I am very sorry                                      Pepani Kwambiri

Thank You                                                        Zikomo

Thank you very much                                         Zikomo Kwambiri

Your Friend                                                       Mzako

My friend                                                          Nzanga

Nice day                                                           Tsiku la bwino

Have a nice day                                                Mukhale ndi tsiku labwino

God bless you                                                  Mulungu Akudalitseni

Money                                                  Ndalama

How much is the cost?                          Ndalama Zingati

Yes                                                                  Inde                

No                                                                    Ayi

Why                                                                  Chifukwa Chiyani        

Welcome                                                          Takulandirani  

How’s things (a friends greeting)                        Zikuyenda

Everything’s good                                             Zabwino

Lady or mother                                      Mayi

Ladies                                                              Amayi or Azimayi

Girl                                                                   Mtsikana

Girls                                                                 Atsikana

Difficult                                                            Zovuta 

Is difficult                                                         Chovuta          

Is very difficult                                      Chovuta Kwambiri

You are trouble                                     Ndiwe Mavuto

Crazy man                                                         Wa Misala or Wopenga

Brother                                                 Achimwene

Sister                                                                Achemwali

Chief or King                                                     Mfumu

Many Chiefs                                                      Mafumu

Big Chief                                                          Amfumu

Chief of chiefs                                                  Mfumu Yaikuli or Mfumu yamafumu

Love                                                                 Chikondi

Mercy                                                               Chifundo

Where is? (a person)                                          Alikuti

Where is? (a thing)                                             Chilikuti

Where is? (a place)                                            Ilikuti

Where is? (a street)                                            Ulikuti

Where are? (many things)                                   Zilikuti

I am pleased to meet you                                  Ndakondwera kukudziwani

The following has been compiled by Harry Gombachika:

* hello --- moni
* how are you ? --- muli bwanji ?
* I am fine --- ndiri bwino
* Thank you --- zikomo
* I am happy --- ndakondwa/ndili wokondwa/ndasangalala/ndili wosangalala
* I am sick/ill --- ndikudwala
* I have arrived --- ndafika
* I have departed - ndanyamuka
* I am tired - ndatopa
* I love you --- ndimakukonda/ndimakukondani
* I love you too --- ndimakukondanso/ndimakukondaninso
* God --- Mulungu/Chauta/Namalenga
* person --- munthu
* father --- bambo
* mother --- mayi
* child --- mwana
* boy --- mnyamata
* girl --- mtsikana
* garment --- chobvala (shirt, dress etc)
* shorts --- kabudula
* chilundu --- a piece of cloth wrapped round the waist covering from waist down.
* shoe(s) --- nsapato
* house --- nyumba
* aeroplane - ndege
* village --- mudzi
* country --- dziko
* way/ path --- njira
* road --- nseu
* bicycle --- njinga
* car --- galimoto
* plane --- ndenge
* eating - kudya
* food --- chakudya
* water --- madzi
* beer --- mowa
* meat --- nyama
* rice --- mpunga
* corn/maize --- chimanga
* fish --- nsomba
* salt --- mchere
* pepper --- tsabola
* tobacco --- fodya
* smoking - kusuta
* money --- ndalama
* ndalama zingati ? --- how much ? ( asking for a price of a commodity )
* lion --- mkango
* elephant --- njobvu
* zebra --- mbidzi
* buffalo --- njati
* crocodile --- ng'ona
* hippo --- mvuwu/bokho
* hare kalulu
* dog --- galu
* cat --- mphaka/chona/chome
* bird --- mbalame
* chicken --- nkhuku
* snake --- njoka
* frog --- chule
* toad --- finye
* tree --- mtengo
* chair --- mpando
* fence --- mpanda
* hoe handle --- mpini
* sarvior --- mpulumutsi
* knife --- mpeni
* cave --- phanga
* wing --- phiko
* germinate --- phuka
* parcel --- phukusi
* cook (verb) --- phika
* shoulder --- phewa
* run away --- thawa
* buttock --- thako
* a tale --- nthano
* solid rock --- thanthwe
* bed --- kama
* to milk --- kukama
* hoe --- khasu
* ear --- khutu
* pig --- nkhumba
* fire wood --- nkhuni
* to eat --- kudya
* to buy --- kugula
* to want --- kufuna
* to walk --- kuyenda
* to go --- kupita
* to sleep --- kugona
* to write --- kulemba
* to think --- kuganiza
* to steal --- kuba
* to drink --- kumwa
* to sing --- kuyimba
* to dance --- kuvina
* to jump --- kulumpha/kudumpha
* to walk --- kuyenda
* to laugh --- kuseka
* to read--- kuwerenga
* to runkuthamanga
* to lie --- kunama
* to put --- kuika
* to doubt --- kukayika
* to go --- kupita
* to come --- kubwera
* to send --- kutumiza
* to receive --- kulandira
* to hide --- kubisa
* to complain --- kudandaula

Zikomo kwambiri ---- thank you very much.

Many of the links on this page are courtesy of: http://www.malawithewarmheart.com/index.php?catid=15

 


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