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Encyclopedia > Tswana language
Tswana
Setswana
Spoken in: Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia 
Region: southern Africa
Total speakers: 4,407,174
Language family: Niger-Congo
 Atlantic-Congo
  Volta-Congo
   Benue-Congo
    Bantoid
     Narrow Bantu
      Tswana 
Official status
Official language of: Botswana and South Africa
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: tn
ISO 639-2: tsn
ISO 639-3: tsn

Tswana (Setswana), is a Bantu language. Tswana is the national and majority language of Botswana, whose people are the Batswana (singular Motswana). The majority of Tswana speakers are in the country of Botswana (where it is an official language), but there are also speakers in Zimbabwe,South Africa,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. Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Categories: Africa geography stubs | Southern Africa ... Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... Map showing the distribution of Niger-Congo languages The Niger-Congo languages constitute one of the worlds major language families, and Africas largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... In the classification of African languages, Volta-Congo is the major branch (in terms of number of languages) of the Niger-Congo phylum. ... The Benue-Congo group of languages constitutes the largest branch of the Niger-Congo language family, both in terms of sheer number of languages, of which 938 are known (not counting mere dialects), and in terms of speakers, numbering perhaps 550 million. ... In the classification of African languages, Bantoid is a branch of the Benue-Congo subfamily of the Niger-Congo phylum. ... In the classification of African languages, Narrow Bantu is a term commonly used to designate the branch of Niger-Congo containing the numerous Bantu languages as recognized by Guthrie (1948) in his seminal classification of the Bantu languages. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of the sounds of human speech. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu (dull yellow) vs. ... TSWANA (singular Motswana, plural Batswana) is the name of a Southern African people, and of its Bantu language. ... Map of the black homelands in South Africa as of 1986 Map of the black homelands in Namibia as of 1978 Bantustan is a territory designated as a tribal homeland for black South Africans and Namibians during the apartheid era. ... Bophuthatswana as of 1977 Flag of Bophuthatswana bantustan Bophuthatswana was a former Bantustan (homeland) in the north 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. Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu vs. ... Map showing the distribution of Niger-Congo languages The Niger-Congo languages constitute one of the worlds major language families, and Africas largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. ... The Sotho language group is a group of three closely related Bantu languages spoken in Southern Africa including Setswana, Sesotho, and Sesotho sa Leboa. ... Sesotho is a language spoken in southern Africa. ... Northern Sotho, Sepedi, or Sesotho sa Leboa, is one of the official languages of South Africa, and is spoken by 4,208,980 people (2001 Census Data), mostly in the provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo Province and Mpumalanga. ... The Bechuanaland Protectorate (BP) was a protectorate established in 1885 by Britain in the area of what is now Botswana. ...

Contents

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. (Also used by individuals.)

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?

Farewells:

  • 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)

Food:

  • Morogo - Vegetables
  • Motogo - Porridge
  • Nama - Meat
  • Dinawa - Beans
Provinces of South Africa in which Tswana is spoken as a home language by a significant proportion of the population

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 578 pixelsFull resolution (1146 × 828 pixel, file size: 14 KB, MIME type: image/gif) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 578 pixelsFull resolution (1146 × 828 pixel, file size: 14 KB, MIME type: image/gif) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

Pronunciation tips:

  • The g is pronounced as a throaty h sound similar to the ch in loch.
    • 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. Satellite image of Gaborone Location of Gaborone in Botswana Gaborone (pron. ...


External links

Wikipedia
Tswana language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Tswana language at Ethnologue
  • PanAfrican L10n page on Tswana

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1058x1058, 477 KB) aa Wikipedia logo, version 1058px square, no text Wikipedia logo by Nohat (concept by Paullusmagnus); compare Wikipedia File links The following pages link to this file: Arabic language Talk:Anarcho-capitalism Talk:Algorithm Talk:Anno Domini Talk:The... Wikipedia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics), a Christian linguistic service organization which studies lesser-known languages primarily to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language. ...

Software

  • Spell checker for OpenOffice.org and Mozilla, OpenOffice.org, Mozilla Firefox web-browser, and Mozilla Thunderbird email program in Tswana
  • 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

  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Setswana (237 words)
Tswana is the national and majority language of Botswana, whose people are the Batswana (singular Motswana).
The majority of Tswana speakers are in South Africa (where it is an official language), but there are also speakers in Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Setswana is one of the so-called Bantu languages, belonging to the Niger-Congo language family.
Tswana language (81 words)
The national language of Botswana, whose people are the Batswana (singular Motswana).
The majority of Tswana speakers are in South Africa but there are also speakers in Zimbabwe and Namibia.
The language is closely related to Sotho[?] and is in the Niger-Congo[?] family of languages.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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