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Languages & Phrases

Muli Bwanji Moo-lee Bwahn-jee Hello/Hi
Ndapita Un-dah-pee-tah Good Bye!
Mumalankhula Chingelesi/Chinyanja Moo-mah-lahn-coo-lah Chin-geh-leh-see/Chin-yahn-jah Do you speak English / Nyanja?
Dzina Langa Ndi… Zee-nah Lahn-gah Un-dee My name is…
Mundithandize Ndithadizeni? Muhn-dee-thahn-dee-zeh Can you help me?
Fufuna… Foo-foo-nah I’m looking for…
Eya / Ayi Ehy-ah / Ehy-ee Yes / No
Zikomo Zee-koh-moh Thank you
Iero / Pano Ee-eh-row / Pah-no Today / Now
Mawa / Dzulo Mah-wah / Zoo-low Tomorrow / Yesterday
Ipa / Sampa Ee-pah / Sahm-pah This / That


Above are a few common Nyanja phrases to help you get around.


English is spoken in official, business and academic situations and is considered to be the country’s official language. However, the main language spoken locally is Nyanja, with Bemba closely following. Other languages spoken frequently in Zambia include Luvale, Tonga, Lozi, Lunda and Kaonde and number over seventy in total.

In addition, French and Portuguese is very commonly taught as an additional language in private schools and they have been considered being added to the mainstream Zambian curriculum for state schools as well. German is also available as a language at the University of Zambia.