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



  • 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?



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



  • 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



  • 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: 


Related Pages

Related Opportunities

Volunteer Belize Orphanage Program

Volunteer at a children’s home should be a mentor, friend, gardener, farmer, camp counselor and advocate all rolled into one.

Horse Riding and Rhino Conservation

The perfect volunteer project for horse lovers. Combine horseback safaris, anti-poaching patrols and cattle ranching, with black rhino and elephant conservation. Live in the heart of a 10,000 acre private game reserve. 

Kruger, Falls & Zimbabwe

When it comes to raw, in-your-face wildness, southern Africa can’t be topped. This trip offers a fully immersive, unyieldingly authentic experience of the natural and cultural wonders of this incredible region.

Rescued Animal Conservation, Zimbabwe

Join a team of dedicated vets and conservationists at this incredibly rewarding, family-run animal rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary. 

Ultimate Fighter & Mixed Martial Arts Training Camp Thailand

World champions and complete beginners all train at our MMA training camp. No experience necessary, although you need a reasonable level of fitness. 

Teaching Missions in Udaipur, India

Your voluntary teaching work provides you with an opportunity to develop new skills in a very different environment.

Evening Spanish Courses in Bilbao

The afternoon Spanish courses are aimed at people who live in Bilbao, and want to work on their level of Spanish during the afternoons. They are also aimed at intensive course students, who attend morning classes, but want to add to their learning by attending during the afternoons as well.

Discover India & Sri Lanka

Start with the hectic pace of northern Delhi before heading to the beaches of Goa and the fishing nets of relaxed Kochi in the first leg of this epic subcontinental journey. 

Spanish Courses in Heredia, Costa Rica

Heredia is an idyllic setting; somewhere you can learn Spanish at your own pace. Whether you are fanatic about big cities or you are a lover of the ocean, Heredia has a little bit of everything!

2 Day Leopard & Wildlife Safari, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical country with diverse ecological conditions that provoke an equally diverse range of wildlife. Go in search of exotic wildlife like leopards, elephants, sloth bear, wild boar, water buffaloes, monkeys and other animals on this 2 day safari.

Private Spanish Classes, Santiago, Chile

Private classes are good for students with specific needs, or who can’t commit to the schedule of the group programs.

Surf & Yoga Holiday in Morocco (8 days)

Join us for an unforgettable Moroccan surfing and yoga holiday, close to the ocean, the community and the environment.

Divemaster Course, Costa Rica

Spend the most incredible 8 to 12 weeks of your life training to become a dive professional. Whether you choose to work in diving as a result or just enjoy the training process of diving everyday, it is tough to beat this lifestyle! 

Spanish Courses in Seville, Spain

Seville's intriguing history also makes it an attractive place to visit. Seville still bears the marks of the many civilizations that have settled here. Today, residents keep the city's spirit alive with fun, culture and Andalusian alegrí­a. 

4 Week TEFL Course in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Our certificate is equivalent to a Cambridge CELTA and Trinity CertTESOL, but also includes training in teaching English to children (the vast majority of teaching jobs in Thailand) as well as Thai language and Thai culture training.

Teaching Placements in Yantai, Northern China

Volunteers needed to teach conversational English in the local schools in and around Yantai. Placement are available in kindergartens, primary schools, high schools and colleges throughout the city.

English Teaching Projects from £150 with PMGY

PMGY offer a wide range of safe, meaningful, affordable teaching volunteer projects from 1-week to 6-months in Bali, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Fiji, India, Madagascar, the Maldives, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.

Spanish Courses in Madrid, Spain

Study Spanish in Spain's vibrant capital city, Madrid which has a wide variety of museums, monuments, elegant squares and fantastic shopping opportunities.





About  |  Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Company A-Z  |  Advertise  |  Press  |  Contact

One World 365 © 2007 - 2017