Tswana (Setswana), is a Bantu language. Tswana is the national and
majority language of Botswana, whose people are the Batswana (singular
Motswana). Although Setswana is the official language of Botswana, the
majority of Setswana speakers are actually in the country of South Africa,
but there are also speakers in Zimbabwe and Namibia. Internationally there
are about 4 million speakers. Before South Africa became a multi-racial
democracy, the bantustan of Bophuthatswana was set up to cover the
Tswana speakers of South Africa.

Tswana is a Bantu language, belonging to the Niger-Congo language
family. It is most closely related to two other languages in the Sotho
language group, Sotho (Southern Sotho) and Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa
Leboa). It has also been known as Beetjuans, Chuana (hence
Bechuanaland), Coana, Cuana, and Sechuana.

Some simple Tswana phrases
Dumela, rra/mma - Hello, Sir/Madam.
O tsogile jang? - Are you well? (How did you wake?)
Formal inquiry after health:

O tsogile jang? - How are you? (literally, 'how did you awake?').
Ke tsogile sentle, rra/mma. Wena, o tsogile jang? - I'm well, Sir/Madam.
How are you?
(Replace tsogile with tlhotse for afternoon greetings.)

Informal inquiry after health:

Le kae? - How are you?
Re teng, rra/mma - We're well, Sir/Madam. (Ke teng, rra/mma for I am well.)
Casual slang:

O a re eng? (pronounced 'wah-reng') -- How's it going?
Go jwang?- How's it?

Other useful phrases:

Ke a leboga, rra/mma. - Thank you, Sir/Madam (formal)
Ke itumetse, rra/mma." - Thanks, Sir/Madam (informal)
Ke bidiwa _______. - I am called _____.
Leina la gago ke mang? - What is your name? (formal)
O mang? - What's your name? (informal)
Ke tshwerwe ke tlala. - I'm hungry (literally, 'I'm held by hunger')
Ke tshwerwe ke lenyora. - I'm thirsty (literally, 'I'm held by thirst')
Ke rata ___. - I like ___.
Ga ke rate___. - I don't like ___.
Ke batla ___. - I want ___.
Ga ke batle ____ - I do not want ____
Dijo tse di monate - The food is good!
A re tsamaye! - Let's go!
Kokelwana e ko kae? - Where is the clinic?
Ke nako mang? - What time is it?
Ke kopa thuso, tswee-tswee. - I need help, please.
A nka go thusa? - May I help you?
A o ya ko ____? - Are you going to _____?
____ ke eng ka Setswana? - What is _____ in Setswana?

Robala sentle - Sleep well
Boroko - Good night
Tsamaya sentle - Go well (said to the person/group leaving)
Sala sentle - Stay well (said to the person/group staying)

Morogo - Vegetables
Motogo - Porridge
Nama - Meat
Dinawa - Beans

Image: Provinces of South Africa in which Tswana
is spoken as a home language by a significant proportion of the population
Pronunciation tips:
The g is pronounced as /x/. This is reflected in the pronunciation of
Botswana's capital, Gaborone.
The th is pronounced as an aspirated plosive, /tʰ/
The same aspiration rule is true for all other consonants used in
combination with h (e.g., ph, sh, tlh, etc.)
The combination tl is pronounced as /tɬ/.
Tswana has six vowel sounds: /ə/, /ɛ/, /e/, /ɪ/, /o/ and /u/, represented by
the letters a, e, e, i, o and u respectively

Translate.org.za Project to translate Free and Open Source Software into
all the official languages of South Africa including Tswana
Keyboard with extra Tswana characters
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