How to Learn Botswana's Official Language

The Republic of Botswana (Tswana: Lefatshe la Botswana) is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Citizens of Botswana are called "Batswana" (singular: Motswana), regardless of ethnicity. Formerly a British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. It meets Zambia at a single point. It's national language is of course Tswana although people there also do hold English as another Official language.

Steps

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    Like all languages you must persevere and dedicate yourself to that language. It takes years to learn a new language but once you've mastered verbs, grammatical sentences and pronunciation the rest will fall into place; it is also very beneficial to listen to native speakers actually conversing in Tswana. It would benefit you to talk to native speakers, use audio tapes in Tswana or actually visit Botswana.
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    Observe pronunciation, knowing how Tswana people pronounce and speak words is very important to get a clear, good understanding of Tswana language here is an example of Tswana pronunciation:
    • a - as a in father (aga)
    • b - as b in bat (bana)
    • d - like d in do (dira)
    • e - as e in exit (ema)
    • f - as f in farm (fofa)
    • g - as ch in loch (goga)
    • h - as h in ham (huduga)
    • i - as ea in eat (bina)
    • j - as j in job (ja)
    • k - as c in clerical (kopa)
    • l - as l in list (lema)
    • m - as m in mum (mae)
    • n - as n in now (nna)
    • ng - as ng in linger (ngaka)
    • o - as o in order (bona)
    • p - as p in pull (pitsa)
    • r - as r in rope (reka)
    • s - as s in say (sala)
    • s - as tion in station (seteišene) [s with an inverted circumflex]
    • šw - as sw in swift (mašwi)
    • t - as t in pot (tau)
    • tšh - as ch in church (ntšha)
    • u - as oo in book (bula)
    • w - as w in well (wena)
    • y - as y in yearn (yola
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    Learn the Greetings. Here are some Twsana greetings-
    • Hello - Dumela
    • How are you? - O kae?
    • I am fine. - Ke teng.
    • Goodbye - Tsamaya sentle (go well) / Sala sentle (stay well)
    • Good luck - Masego
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    Learn Expressions. Some common expressions are given below
    • yes - ee
    • no - nnyaa
    • please - tsweetswee
    • thank you - ke a leboga
    • help - thusang
    • danger - kotsi
    • emergency - tshoganyetso
    • excuse me - nxae
    • I am sorry. - Ke maswabi.
    • I love you. - Ke a go rata
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    Questions / sentences
    • Do you accept (money/credit cards/traveler's cheques)? - A lo amogela (dikarata tsa molato/ditšheke tsa bajanata)?
    • How much is this? - Ke bokae?
    • I want ... - Ke batla ...
    • What are you doing? - O dira eng?
    • What is the time? - Ke nako mang?
    • Where are you going? - O ya ke?
    • Numbers
    • one - nngwe
    • two - pedi
    • three - tharo
    • four - nne
    • five - tlhano
    • six - thataro
    • seven - supa
    • eight - robedi
    • nine - robongwe
    • ten - lesome
    • eleven - lesomenngwe
    • twelve - lesomepedi
    • thirteen - lesometharo
    • fourteen - lesomenne
    • fifteen - lesometlhano
    • twenty - masomepedi
    • twenty one - masomepedi nngwe
    • twenty two - masomepedi pedi
    • fifty - masometlhano
    • hundred - lekgolo le le lengwe
    • thousand - sekete se le sengwe
    • Computers and Internet terms
    • computer - khomphuta
    • e-mail - e-maili
    • e-mail address - aterese ya e-maili
    • Internet - Inthanete
    • Internet café - Khefi ya Inthanete
    • website - websaete
    • website address - aterese ya websaete

Tips

  • Practice, memorizing the basics, then go onto more sophisticated parts of the language.
  • Try looking for local language lessons for learning not just the language, but culture and Botswana's history too. Just anyone who can help you learn the language.

Article Info

Categories: World Languages