Learn to Speak in Shamiyoyo

Like most countries in the world outside of America, Zambians speak more than one language. The people of Shamiyoyo speak predominantly Nkoya (en-KOY-ah) while a few speak predominantly Lozi (LO-zee), both regional to the Western Province. However, they can all speak some of both in addition to other Zambian tribal languages, and about half can speak some English. I asked Wana and his family to help translate some words to help me learn but also to share with you. The pronunciations are phonetic, so when I attempted to pronounce these words, I mostly got them close the first try.

Nkoya (Western Province)

Learn to speak Nkoya - kulilongesha kwamba shikonya

Languages - mishobo

Greeting, how are you? (There is no equivalent to hello, and this is the closest phrase, though you should respond with an answer rather than repeat the same question) - Mwapinduku

Good or well - Shwihe (I've been pronouncing this as 'shwy' or 'SHWY-eh' and no one has corrected me yet. Maybe they're just being nice.)

And you? - Nyaiti

Good evening - wanondo

Thanks - kukabililiko or shangwe

Goodbye, see you later (with respect, e.g., to an elder) - mwané

Please - enu bantu

I am sorry - mu ni nyatileko

I am hungry - na kuyuuvwa thala

I am thirsty - na kuyuuvwa linyotwa

Welcome - mwaboko

Nothing - koa

Baby - bututu

Lion King - shimbwe mwene

Beautiful - uwaye

You are beautiful - uli wa muwahe

Come here - yeka

Where are you going? - wakuyakuti

I am very happy! (expression of joy or success, for example, after scoring a goal in soccer or doing well on a test) - nawahilili

Water - mema

Fire - mungilo

Wind - mpempo

Broom - lufwelo

Rake - hala

House - litala

River - lwena

Pig - ngulu

Chicken - huhwa

Bath - kuyowela

Toilet - shimbushu

School - shikolo

American - mukuwa

Morning - lumenemene

Afternoon - matholo

Night - ushiku

Hot - kutukuma

Cold - mashika

Market - kumukulo

Road - thila

Road to Shamiyoyo - thila ya ku shamiyoyo

I love you - na kushinga

Family - lupashi

Mother - mawa

Father - tate

Brother - mpathemi

Sister - mpathemi

Son - mwana wa mulume

Daughter - nbeleki

Grandfather - nkanka

Grandmother - nkanka

Dog - tuwa

Wood - nkuni

Chair - shipuna

Maize - shingonbe

Tree - mutondo

Farm - kumafuba

Bridge - shilalo

Food - byakula

Airplane - fulia

Person - muntu

Oxcarts - chikochikala

Dance - kuvina

Bible - buka ya nyambi

God - nyambi

Jesus - yesu

Angels - ligeloyi

Meat - nyama

Knife - mpoko

Sick - kukola

Fish - thishi

Lozi (Western Province)

How are you? - luzuhili

Fine - handi

No problem - Hakuna butata (not matata)

Nyanja (Lusaka)

American - Muzungu

Ben KirbyComment