22 May 2006

Lumela / Dumela

Lumela in Lesotho and Dumela in South Africa are the Sesotho greeting. Literally, the word means "agree," though it isn't clear what the greeted person is required to agree with. Lumela is singular and lumelang is plural, or respectful what addressed to one person. Which of the responses in this quiz are inappropriate?

  1. Lumela (Hello)
  2. Lumela
    Ke lapile

  3. U phela joang? (How are you?)
  4. Hantle
    Sala hantle

  5. Lebitso laka ke Thabiso (My name's Thabiso)
  6. Oena?
    Ke thabela ho u tseba

  7. Khotso (Hello -- literally "peace")
  8. Khotso
    Ke hantle

  9. Tsamaea hantle (Goodbye -- literally "go well")
  10. Robala hantle

  11. Ke phela hantle, uena? (I'm fine, and you?)
  12. Sala hantle
    Le 'na ke phela hantle

  13. Nka u thusa? (May I help you?)
  14. E, kea leboha
    E, tsamaea hantle

  15. Le phela joang? (How are you?)
  16. Rea phela, uena?
    Kea phela, uena?

  17. Sala hantle (Goodbye -- literally "stay well")
  18. Tsamaea hantle
    Ke lapile

  19. Thutiso ena e felile (This quiz is over)
  20. Kea leboha
    Lebitso laka ke Rethabile
Practise these over and over until you feel comfortable using them. Most folks learn through books and the internet, without the benefit of talking to people. So use the means at your disposal well, or, what the hell, go to Lesotho for a holiday next time. Remember that in Lesoth, "li" is /dee/ and "lu" is /doo/. Here are two links to visit:

-- http://premiumwanadoo.com/sotho
-- http://www.achairslife.com


Stephen Bess said...

Dumela ntate! I now have you linked to my blog so I will be visiting regularly. Thanks again! :)

Rethabile said...

I'll receive you with good pleasure.

Anonymous said...

ke ne ke sa tsebe hore nka kgona
ho buisana basotho ba heso mo comporong.

Anonymous said...

I had so much fun doing this! (: I don't speak Sesotho, but have many Basotho friends, so I guess I picked up something from them along the years! They would be proud to know that I scored 18/20. I love Lesohto too and visited many times. My favourite Sesotho words are letswai and metsie. Thanks for this!