Chichewa

Learn Chichewa Lesson 2: Greetings

Lesson 2: Greetings 

Some books introduce ‘Hello’ or  ‘Hi’ as ‘Moni!’, but that is a somewhat uncommon in Chichewa, and unimportant greetings.

Instead of a single word for ‘Hello’, Chichewa speakers will generally greet one another with such questions as ‘How are you?’ and ‘How have you woken up?’. And after inquiring after someone’s health, one might well go on to ask about family, life and work.

Remember you’re not just learning a new language, but also a new way of interacting with people – new culture.

2-1. General Greetings

How are you?

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
I Ndi
You Mu (subject), inu (Object)
is/am/are li
how bwanji
good bwino
how about kaya
too nso
Thanks Zikomo

 

CONVERSATION

Muli bwanji?

How are you?

Ndili bwino, kaya inu?

I am good, how about you?

Ndili bwino (nso), zikomo

I am good (too), thanks.

Zikomo.

Thanks.

2-2. Morning Greetings

How have you woken up?

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
You’ve Mwa
wake up dzuka
I’ve Nda

 

CONVERSATION

Mwadzuka bwanji?

How have you woken up?

Ndadzuka bwino, kaya inu?

I’ve woken up well, how about you?

Ndadzuka bwino (nso), zikomo.

I’ve woken up well (too), thanks.

Zikomo.

Thanks.

2-3. Afternoon Greetings

How have you spent time?

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
spend time swera

 

CONVERSATION

Mwaswera bwanji?

How have you spent time?

Ndaswera bwino, kaya inu?

I’ve spent time well, how about you?

Ndaswera bwino (nso), zikomo

I’ve spent time well (too), thanks.

Zikomo.

Thanks.

2-4. Other Forms of Greetings

1) How is home?

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
home nyumba
it is ku li

PATTERN

English Chichewa
How is     Place     ? Ku     Place     kuli bwanji?
     Place     is well. Ku     Place     kuli bwino.

 

CONVERSATION

Kunyumba kuli bwanji?

How is home?

Kunyumba kuli bwino.

Home is well.

 

2) Life/Work is good?

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
they are ziku
go / move / walk yenda
things zinthu

PATTERN

English Chichewa
Life/Work is good? Zikuyenda?
Life/Work is good. Zikuyenda.

‘Zikuyenda?’ is the abbreviated style of ‘Zinthu ziku yenda bwanji? (Things they are going how?)’

 

CONVERSATION

Zikuyenda?

Life/Work is good?

Zikuyenda.

Life/Work is good.

 

3) How is job going?

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
job ntchito
it is i ku

PATTERN

English Chichewa
How is job going? Ntchito ikuyenda bwanji?
Job is going on well. Ntchito ikuyenda bwino.

Job it is going how? = Ntchito ikuyenda bwanji?

 

CONVERSATION

Ntchito ikuyenda bwanji?

How is job going?

Ntchito ikuyenda bwino.

Job is going on well.

Once again, remember you’re not just learning a new language, but also a new way of interacting with people – new culture!

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