Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.

Shona phrasebook

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search

Shona is the main language of Zimbabwe.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Vowels[edit]

Shona has five vowels: a, e, i, o, u. If you are familiar with Spanish, Italian or Japanese, the vowels are pronounced the same. If not, they are pronounced:

A - ah (Like the "a" in "father")

E - eh (Like the "a" in "say" but without moving your mouth)

I - ee (Like the "ee" in "see")

O - oh (Like the "o" in "so" but without moving your mouth)

U - oo (Like the "oo" in "doom")


Vowels in Shona always make the same sounds, even when combined with other vowels. There are no silent letters or diphthongs in Shona, so vowels will always make the same sound, and it is important that you pronounce each vowel, even when one vowel follows another. For example, in the word "kuudza" (to tell), you must say "koo-oo-dza", pronouncing both of the u's. Simply saying "koo-dza" (kudza) changes the meaning to "raise/respect".

Consonants[edit]

Common diphthongs[edit]

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

{{infobox|Common signs|

OPEN 
Vhura
CLOSED 
Vhara
ENTRANCE 
Musuwo
EXIT 
Pokubuda
PUSH 
Sunda
PULL 
Dhonza / Zvuva
TOILET 
Chimbuzi
MEN 
Varume
WOMEN 
Vakadzi
FORBIDDEN 
Hamubvumidzwe / Hamutenderwe
Hello. 
Mhoroi.
Hello. (informal
Ndeipi.
How are you? 
Munofara here?
Fine, thank you. 
Ndinofara.
What is your name? 
Munonzi vaani? / Zita renyu rinoitwa ani?
My name is ______ . 
Ndinonzi ______ .
Nice to meet you. 
Ndafara nekukuzivai.
Please. 
Ndapota.
Thank you. 
Ndinotenda.
You're welcome. 
Musareve (Horaiti).
Yes. 
Hongu.
No. 
Kwete.
Excuse me. (getting attention
Pamusoroi.
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Pamusoroi.
I'm sorry. 
Ndine urombo.
Goodbye 
Zvakanakai.
Goodbye (informal
Ndaenda.
I can't speak Shona [well]. 
Handitaure (chi)Shona [kwazvo].
Do you speak English? 
Munotaura Chirungu here?
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Pane ari pano anotaura Chirungu here ?
Help! 
Rubatsiro!
Look out! 
Ngwarira!
Good morning. 
Mangwanani.
Good afternoon. 
Masikati.
Good evening / night. 
Manherui.
Good night (to sleep
Murare zvakanaka.
How has been your day? 
Maswera sei?
I don't understand. 
Handi nzwisise.
Where is the toilet? 
Chimbuzi chiripi?

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone. 
Ndisiye (ndakadaro).
Don't touch me! 
Usandibate!
I'll call the police. 
Ndinoshevedza mapurisa.
Police! 
Mapurisa!
Stop! Thief! 
Mira! Mbavha!
I need your help. 
Ndnokumbirawo rubatsiro.
It's an emergency. 
Itsaona.
I'm lost. 
Ndarasika.
I lost my bag. 
Ndashaya bhegi rangu.
I lost my wallet. 
Ndashaya chikwama changu.
I'm sick. 
Ndirikurwara.
I've been injured. 
Ndakuvara.
I need a doctor. 
Ndinoda chiremba.
Can I use your phone? 
Ndingashandisewo nhare yenyu here?

Numbers[edit]

poshi
piri
nhatu
ina
shanu
tanhatu
nomwe
sere
pfumbamwe
10 
gumi
11 
gumi neimwe
12 
gumi nembiri
13 
gumi nenhatu
14 
gumi neina
15 
gumi neshanu
16 
gumi netanhatu
17 
gumi nenomwe
18 
gumi nesere
19 
gumi nepfumbamwe
20 
makumi maviri
21 
makumi maviri neimwe
22 
makumi maviri nembiri
23 
makumi maviri nenhatu
30 
makumi matatu
40 
makumi mana
50 
makumi mashanu
60 
makumi matanhatu
70 
makumi manomwe
80 
makumi masere
90 
makumi mapfumbamwe
100 
zana
200 
mazana maviri
300 
mazana matatu
1,000 
chiuru
2,000 
zviuru zviviri
1,000,000 
( )
1,000,000,000 
( )
1,000,000,000,000 
( )
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) 
( )
half 
chidimbu / chikamu
less 
derera
more 
wedzera

Time[edit]

now 
izvozvi
later 
gare-gare / pava paya
before 
isa yakwana/yasvika
morning 
kuseni
afternoon 
masikati
evening 
manheru
night 
usiku


Clock time[edit]

one o'clock AM 
( )
two o'clock AM 
( )
noon 
( )
one o'clock PM 
( )
two o'clock PM 
( )
midnight 
( )


Duration[edit]

_____ minute(s) 
chidimbu (zvidimbu)
_____ hour(s) 
awa (maawa
_____ day(s) 
zuva (mazuva)
_____ week(s) 
vhiki (mavhiki)
_____ month(s) 
mwedzi
_____ year(s) 
gore (makore)


Days[edit]

today 
nhasi
yesterday 
nezuro
tomorrow 
mangwana
this week 
vhiki rino
last week 
vhiki rapera / rapfuura
next week 
vhiki rinouya / rinotevera
Sunday 
Svondo
Monday 
Muvhuro
Tuesday 
Chipiri
Wednesday 
Chitatu
Thursday 
China
Friday 
Chishanu
Saturday 
Mugovera

Months[edit]

January 
Ndira
February 
Kukadzi
March 
Kurume
April 
(Kubvumbi)
May 
(Chivabvu)
June 
(Chikumi)
July 
(Chikunguru)
August 
(Nyamavhuvhu)
September 
(Gunyana)
October 
(Gumiguru)
November 
(Mbudzi)
December 
Zvita

Colors[edit]

black 
nhema
white 
chena
gray 
( )
red 
tsvuku
blue 
( )
yellow 
( )
green 
( )
orange 
( )
purple 
( )
brown 
( )

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Imarii kuenda ku_____?
One ticket to _____, please. 
Tikiti rekuenda ku____.
Where does this train/bus go? 
Chitima/Bhazi iri rinoendepi?
Where is the bus to _____? 
Bhazi ririkuenda kupi?
Does this bus stop in _____? 
Bhazi rinomira here mu___?
When does the bus for _____ leave? 
Bhazi reku_______ rinosimuka nenguvai?
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Bhazi iri rinosvika nenguvai mu___?

Directions[edit]

How do I get to _____ ? 
Ndinofamba sei kuenda ku____?
...the train station? 
chiteshi chechitima?
...the bus station? 
chiteshi chemabhazi?
...the airport? 
nhandare yendege?
...the taxis? 
makombi
...the youth hostel? 
( )
...the _____ hotel? 
hotera?
...the American consulate? 
embassy/ yeAmerica?
Where are there a lot of... 
Ndekupi kwakawanda ____
...hotels? 
mahotera?
...restaurants? 
marestorendi
...bars? 
mabhawa
...sites to see? 
nzvimbo dzinezvekuona
Can you show me on the map? 
ndiratidzeiwo pamap
street 
mugwagwa
Turn left. 
torai ruboshwe
Turn right. 
torai rudyi
left 
boshwe
right 
rudyi
straight ahead 
kumberi
towards the _____ 
makananga ku
past the _____ 
pfura pa___
before the _____ 
musati masvika pa____
Watch for the _____. 
tarisira pa___
intersection 
panosangana migwagwa
north 
chamhembe
south 
maodza nyemba
east 
mabudiro / mabvazuva
west 
madokero
uphill 
kwidza
downhill 
dzika

Taxi[edit]

Taxi! 
kombi / cab/ taxi
Take me to _____, please. 
ndiendesei ku________
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
imarii kusvika ku_____
Take me there, please. 
ndiendesei

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available? 
( )
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
( )
Does the room come with... 
( )
...bedsheets? 
( )
...a bathroom? 
( )
...a telephone? 
( )
...a TV? 
( )
May I see the room first? 
( )
Do you have anything quieter? 
( )
...bigger? 
( )
...cleaner? 
( )
...cheaper? 
( )
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
( )
Can you suggest another hotel? 
( )
Do you have a safe? 
( )
...lockers? 
( )
Is breakfast/supper included? 
( )
What time is breakfast/supper? 
( )
Please clean my room. 
( )
Can you wake me at _____? 
( )
I want to check out. 
( )

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
( )
Do you accept British pounds? 
( )
Do you accept Euros? 
( )
Do you accept credit cards? 
( )
Can you change money for me? 
(mungandi chingirewo mari? )
Where can I get money changed? 
(mari ino chingirwa kupi?)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
( )
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
( )
What is the exchange rate? 
( )
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
( )

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please. 
( )
Can I look at the menu, please? 
(Ndingaonewo menyu yenyu here? )
Can I look in the kitchen? 
( )
Is there a house specialty? 
( )
Is there a local specialty? 
( )
I'm a vegetarian. 
(Handidye nyama )
I don't eat pork. 
(Handidye nyama yenguruve )
I don't eat beef. 
(Handidye nyama yemombe )
I only eat kosher food. 
( )
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
( )
fixed-price meal 
( )
a la carte 
( )
breakfast 
( )
lunch 
( )
tea (meal
( )
supper 
( )
I want _____. 
(Ndinoda____ )
I want a dish containing _____. 
(Ndirikuda chikafu chine_____)
chicken 
(nyama yehuku)
beef 
(nyama yemombe)
fish 
(hove)
ham 
( )
sausage 
( )
cheese 
( )
eggs 
(mazai )
salad 
( )
(fresh) vegetables 
( )
(fresh) fruit 
( )
bread 
(chingwa)
toast 
( )
noodles 
( )
rice 
(mupunga )
beans 
( )
May I have a glass of _____? 
(Ndipeiwo girazi re______ )
May I have a cup of _____? 
(Ndipeiwo komichi ye_____ )
May I have a bottle of _____? 
(Ndipeiwo bhodhoro re_____ )
coffee 
( )
tea (drink
(svutugadzike )
juice 
( )
(bubbly) water 
( )
(still) water 
(mvura )
beer 
(doro )
red/white wine 
(waini )
May I have some _____? 
( )
salt 
( )
black pepper 
( )
butter 
( )
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
( )
I'm finished. 
(Ndapedza )
It was delicious. 
(Zvanga zvichinaka )
Please clear the plates. 
(Ndinokumbirawo kuti mubvise ndiro )
The check, please. 
( )

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
(Munotengesa doro? )
Is there table service? 
( )
A beer/two beers, please. 
( )
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
( )
A pint, please. 
( )
A bottle, please. 
( )
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
( )
whiskey 
( )
vodka 
( )
rum 
( )
water 
( )
club soda 
( )
tonic water 
( )
orange juice 
( )
Coke (soda
( )
Do you have any bar snacks? 
( )
One more, please. 
( )
Another round, please. 
( )
When is closing time? 
(Munovhara nguvai? )
Cheers! 
( )

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
( )
How much is this? 
( )
That's too expensive. 
(chino dhurisa )
Would you take _____? 
( )
expensive 
(dhura )
cheap 
( )
I can't afford it. 
(handina mari yacho )
I don't want it. 
(handichide )
You're cheating me. 
(muri kundirasisa )
I'm not interested. 
(..)
OK, I'll take it. 
( )
Can I have a bag? 
(ndingawana bhegi here?)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
(munotumira kunze kewnyika here?)
I need... 
(ndinoda)
...toothpaste. 
( )
...a toothbrush. 
( )
...tampons. 
. ( )
...soap. 
(sipo)
...shampoo. 
( )
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
( )
...cold medicine. 
( )
...stomach medicine. 
... ( mushonga wemudumbu)
...a razor. 
( )
...an umbrella. 
( )
...sunblock lotion. 
( )
...a postcard. 
( )
...postage stamps. 
( )
...batteries. 
(mabhatiri )
...writing paper. 
(bepa rekunyorera )
...a pen. 
(bilo)
...English-language books. 
(mabhuku echirungu)
...English-language magazines. 
( )
...an English-language newspaper. 
( )
...an English-English dictionary. 
( )

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car. 
( )
Can I get insurance? 
( )
stop (on a street sign
( )
one way 
( )
yield 
( )
no parking 
( )
speed limit 
( )
gas (petrol) station 
( )
petrol 
( )
diesel 
( )

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
Handina chandatadza
It was a misunderstanding. 
kwanga kuri kusangonzwisisana chete
Where are you taking me? 
muri kundi endesa kupi?
Am I under arrest? 
ndasungwa here?
I am an American citizen. 
Ndiri chizvarwa cheAmerica
I want to talk to the American embassy. 
Ndinoda kutaura ne embassy ye America
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Ndinoda kutaura nemu miriri
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Ndinga chibhadhara zvangu muripo?

Learning more[edit]

This phrasebook is an outline and needs more content. It has an introduction and a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages