Malagasy 101

Malagasy Peace Corps Course

Malagasy Peace Corps CourseManahoana! This Malagasy course was developed by the U.S. Peace Corps for its volunteers going to Madagascar. It can be useful as a primer for learning the basics of the Malagasy language. You can listen and follow along to each lesson or download the whole course directly.

Download Full Course (PDF and Audio Files)

Introduction

View text
Malagasy is the only language spoken in all of Madagascar, while there are eighteen dialects spoken in different regions, for instance Sakalava, Tsimihety, Betsimisaraka, Betsileo, Antandroy, Antanosy, Antesaka, Antemoro, Bara, and Standard Malagasy.

It’s emphasized that the basic grammatical structure is the same for all dialects. They mostly differ in terms of vocabulary. As for the Malagasy alphabet, there are some vowels and consonants that do not exist such as “u,c,q,x,w.” In fact the Malagasy language is close to Arabic in pronunciation. This short introduction is designed to give you a glimpse of what the Malagasy language is like before you arrive in Madagascar.

Lesson 1 – Malagasy Alphabet

Lesson 2 – Greetings


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Manahoana? Hello!
Salama! Hi!
Inona no vaovao? What’s up?
Tsy misy! Nothing special!
Fahasalamana? How are you?
Tsara fa misaotra! I’m OK. Thanks.
Tonga soa! Welcome!
Veloma! Bye!
Misaotra! Thanks!
Azafady! Please/sorry!
Miala tsiny! Please/sorry!
Tsy misy olana! No problem!

Lesson 3 – Introductions


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Iza no anaranao? What is your name?
_______ no anarako, ary ianao? My name is , and yours?
Faly mahalala anao! Happy to meet you!
Faly mahalala anao koa! Happy to meet you too!
Avy aiza ianao? Where are you from?
Avy any Etazonia aho. I am from USA.
Avy any Boston aho. I am from Boston.
Inona ny asanao? What is your job? /What do you do?
Mpiofana aho. I am a trainee.
Mianatra teny Malagasy aho. I learn Malagasy.
Hipetraka aiza ianao? Where will you stay?
Mandrapihaona! See you later!
Veloma! Bye!

Lesson 4 – Family


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Fianakaviana Family
Dada Father
Neny Mother
Zoky Older siblings
Zandry Younger siblings
Dadabe Grandfather
Nenibe Grandmother
Zanaka Children
Manam-bady To be married
Zaza tokana Single child
Kambana Twins
Sipa Boy/girlfriend
Namana Friend
Nisaraka To be separated
Manana To have

Lesson 5 – Basic Sentence Structures


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Aho I
Ianao You
Izy He/She
Isika We (inclusive)
Izahay We (exclusive)
Ianareo You
Izireo They

Lesson 6 – Basic Needs


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Reraka aho. I am tired.
Noana aho. I am hungry.
Voky aho. I am full.
Mangetaheta aho. I am thirsty.
Aiza ny kabone? Where is the toilet?
Te hisotro rano aho. I want to drink water.
Te hatory aho. I want to sleep.
Te hisakafo aho. I want to eat.
Te hivoaka aho. I want to go out.
Mafana aho. I am hot.
Mangatsika aho. I am cold.
Kabone Toilet
Ladosy Shower
Pee pot (bed-pan)
Tsy tia hena aho. I don’t like meat.

Lesson 7 – Question Words


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Ve? Yes or no question
Iza? Who?
Aiza? Where?
Inona? What?
Firy? How many?
Amin’ny firy? What time?
Oviana? When?
Hoatrinona? How much?
Fa maninona? Why?
Ahoana? How?

Expressions

Malagasy English
Amerikana ve ianao? Are you American?
Iza i TIM? Who is TIM?
Mipetraka aiza izy? Where does he/she live?
Manao inona ianareo? What are you doing?
Manana zoky firy ianao? How many older siblings do you have?
Amin’ny firy izao? What time is it?
Oviana ianao no tonga? When did you arrive?
Hoatrinona ny papier hygienique? How much is a roll of toilet paper?
Fa maninona no mianatra Malagasy ianareo? Why do you study Malagasy?
Ahoana ny weekend? How was the weekend?

Lesson 8 – Commands and Requests


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Eny Yes
Tsia No
Avia aty! Come here!
Andraso! Wait!
Ndao handeha! Let’s go/come on!
Diso False / untrue
Marina True
Ampy izay! That is enough!
Azo? Understand?
Mila (koka) aho azafady. I need_(coke)_ please.
Omeo_(rano)_ aho azafady. Give me _(water)_ please.
Mba omeo_(Sokola)_ aho azafady. Give me _(Chocolate)_ please.
Afaka mahazo_(vera)_ve aho azafady? Can I have_(a glass)_ please?

Lesson 9 – Numbers


Expand Text
Number Malagasy English
1 Iray One
2 Roa Two
3 Telo Three
4 Efatra Four
5 Dimy Five
6 Enina Six
7 Fito Seven
8 Valo Eight
9 Sivy Nine
10 Folo Ten
“amby” is used to connect numbers with one digit to two and three digits until 199. “Sy” is used after 199 and more.

10 - Folo (Ten)
40 - Efapolo (Fourty)
90 -Sivifolo (Ninety)
100 - Zato (Hundred)
300 - Telonjato (Three hundred)
900 - Sivinjato (Nine hundred)
1,000 - Arivo (A thousand)
5,000 - Dimy arivo (Five thousand)
7,000 - Fito arivo (Seven thousand)
10,000 - Iray alina (Ten thousand)
20,000 - Roa alina (Twenty thousand)
60,000 - Enina alina (Sixty thousand)
100,000 - Iray hetsy (Hundred thousand)
400,000 - Efatra hetsy (Four hundred thousand)
800,000 - Valo hetsy (Eight hundred thousand)

Lesson 10 – Food


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Sakafo Food
Vary Rice
Laoka Side-dishes
Mofo Bread
Hena Meat
Henakisoa Pork
Henomby Beef
Akoho Chicken
Trondro Fish
Atody Eggs
Episy Spices
Menaka Oil
Siramamy Sugar
Sira Salt
Sakay Chili
Poavra Pepper
Legume Vegetable
Anana Greens
Ovy Potatoes
Voatabia Tomato
Karoty Carrot
voanjobory Round beans
Tsaramaso Beans
Voankazo Fruit
Papay Papaya
Mananasy Pineapple
Manga Mango
Voasary Orange
Haninkotrana Snack
Mangahazo Cassava
Katsaka Corn
Vomanga Sweet potato
Zava-pisotro Drink
Rano Water
Ranon’ampango Rice-water
Limonady Lemonade
Jus Juice
Kôka Coca-cola
Dite Tea
Kafe Coffee
Ronono Milk

Lesson 11 – Days


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Alatsinainy Monday
Talata Tuesday
Alarobia Wednesday
Alakamisy Thursday
Zoma Friday
Sabotsy Saturday
Alahady Sunday
Omaly Yesterday
Androany Today
Rahampitso Tomorrow
Maraina Morning
Atoandro Noon
Tolakandro Afternoon
Hariva Evening
Alina Night

Lesson 12 – Feelings


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Mahafaly ahy izany That makes me happy.
Mampalahelo izany That’s sad.
Mahagaga izany That’s surprising.
Mahasosotra izany That’s shocking!
Mandreraka izany It’s tiring.
Mampatahotra izany That’s frightening!
Mahakamo izany That’s annoying!
Mampiahiahy izany That’s doubtful.
Mampihomehy izany Amusing! Hilarious!

Lesson 13 – Colors


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Loko Colors
Miloko To be colored
Manga Blue
Mangamanga Bluish
Manga antitra Dark blue
Manga tanora Light blue
Mena Red
Fotsy White
Mainty Black
Maintso Green
Mavokely Pink
Mavo Yellow
Volom-boasary Orange
Volon-tsokolà Brown
Volon-davenona Grey

Lesson 14 – Furniture


Expand Text
Malagasy English
Seza Chair
Latabatra Table
Farafara Bed frame
Kidoro Mattress
Ondana Pillow
Bodofotsy Blankets
Servieta Towel
Jiro Light
Varavarana Door
Varavarankely Window
Lay Mosquito net
Zinga Plastic mug
Sio Bucket

Original Course Text

Download Full Course (PDF and Audio Files)

View other Peace Corps courses