Dumela, y’all


Today we tackled languages.  Yes, that is plural.  As a group of PCVs, we will be speaking 4 different languages: Setswana, Sepedi, IshiVenda, and XitSonga.  However, I will only be learning one of these after tomorrow, when language announcements are made.  SA is a unique country because there are 11 official languages- but even more are spoken in reality.  I think one or two of the languages I may be learning is not an official language of SA.  But I can’t check online now so I am not sure.  Anyways, the good thing is that many South Africans speak English to some degree, so I will not have to rely completely on my learned language.  But to survive well in the village and be accepted, I must.  Also, to pass from a PCT to a PCV I must get an intermediate-low rating in our language exam-in 8 weeks.

So, anyways, we spend most of the day talking about language or how to behave with our host family.  I will teach you a bit of each language.


Dumela. (Hello)

Ahee. (Response-hi)

O kae? (How are you?)

Ke teng, wena o kae? (I’m well, and how are you?)

Le nna ke teng.  (I’m also well.)



Dumela. (Hello)

Ahee. (Hi)

O kae? (How are you?)

Ke gona, wena o kae? (I’m well, and how are you?)

Le nna ke gona. (I am also well)


See, there’s a whole lot of similarities with Setswana and Sepedi.



Ndaa/Aa. (Male/Female hello)

Ndaa/Aa. (Response-Male/Female)

Ndi matsheloni. (Morning)

Ndi matsheloni avhudi. (Good morning)

Hu rini? (How are you)

Ndi hone, ndi vhudzisa ngeo. (I am well, and how are you?)

Na nne ndi hone. (I am also well)



Avuxeni. (Good day)

Ahee. (Hi)

Minjhani? (How are you?)

Hipfukile. Nwina minjhani? (I am well, and how are you?)

Na hina hipfukile. (I am also well)


If you think you know how to pronounce this…you are probably wrong.  If you want to know, email me or ask me in 2 years. J It’s really interesting how different the languages are!  I can’t wait to find out my language placement tomorrow!!

So, I will leave you with this:  Ke moithaopi wa Peace Corps.  I am a Peace Corps volunteer (in Setswana and Sepedi).

I need to sign off and go to bed. I do not yet know how to say goodbye, so adios!



About Jen Lamos

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Gardener. Keeper of Chickens. Daughter of God.

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