Useful Shona Words & Phrases for Visiting Zimbabwe

Useful Shona Words & Phrases for Visiting Zimbabwe

Shona is one of the most widely spoken langugaes spoken in Zimbabwe, along with Ndebele and English which is the official language when it comes to business. Shona is spoken by thousands of people in Zimbabwe and also nearby countries like Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa where Zimbabwean people have migrated to.

We have put together a guide to learning Shona with some useful words and phrases which is perfect if you are interested in picking up the basics of the language or you are going to visit Zimbabwe. By learning to speak just a few words of Shona you will be able to communicate more easily with Shona speakers and also improve your experience if you are going to travel in Zimbabwe.

 

Greetings & Basics

  • Hello - Hesi
  • It was good talking to you - Ndafara kutaura newe
  • Sorry - Ndine urombo
  • Thanks - Waita hako

 

Conversational

  • How are you? - Wakadini?
  • What is your name? - Zita rako ndiani?
  • Do you speak English? - Unotaura Chirungu?
  • How old are you? - Une makore mangani?
  • I don't understand - Handisi kunzwisisa

 

Help, Getting Around & Travel

  • Where do you live? - Unogara kupi?
  • Can you help me? - Ungandibatsirawo here?
  • Where is the airport? - Nhandare yendege iri kupi?
  • How much is this? - Ichi imarii?
  • What is this? - Ichi chii?
  • What? - Chii?
  • Who? - Ani?
  • How? - Sei?
  • Why? - Nei?
  • Where? - Kupi?

 

Accommodation 

  • Do you have rooms available? - Mune dzimba dzisina vanhu here?
  • How much it costs per night? - Imarii usiku humwechete?

 

Numbers

  • 1 – Motsi
  • 2 – Piri
  • 3 – Tatu
  • 4 – China
  • 5 – Shanu
  • 6 – Tanhatu
  • 7 – Nomwe
  • 8 – Sere
  • 9 – Pfumbamwe
  • 10 – Gumi
  • 20 – Makumi maviri
  • 30 – Makumi matatu
  • 40 – Makumi mana
  • 50 – Makumi mashanu
  • 60 – Makumi matanhatu
  • 70 – Makumi manomwe
  • 80 – Makumi masere
  • 90 – Makumi mapfumbamwe
  • 100 – Zana
  • 1,000 – Churu

 

Days of the Week

  • Monday - Muvhuro
  • Tuesday - Chipiri
  • Wednesday - Chitatu
  • Thursday - China
  • Friday - Chishanu
  • Saturday - Mugovera
  • Sunday - Svondo

 

Emergencies

  • I'm sick - Ndiri kurwara
  • I need a doctor - Ndiri kuda chiremba
  • Help me - Rubatsiro
  • Call the ambulance - Daidza amburenzi
  • Call the police - Daidza mapurisa


 

Booking Resources

Looking to book a trip to Zimbabwe? The following websites are recommended: 

 

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