Sesotho 101

Sesotho Word List

The purpose of this list is to give a rough idea of the Sesotho language. The words listed below are not the most common words, but a broad sampling of words. See the Word Lists page for more details.

English

Sotho
I

nna
you *(sing)*

wena
he

yona
we

rona
you *(pl)*

lona
they

bona
this

ana, ena, enwa, eo, hona
that

aa, ale, ane, ano, bono, boo, ee, eno, hane, hono, hoo
here

mona, teng
there

ao, boo, eo
who

mang? ya *(relative)*
what

eng?
where

kae?
when

neng?
how

jwang
not

ha, ka
all

bohle, hohle
many

ngata
some

bang
few

mmalwa
other

engwe
one

nngwe
two

pedi
three

tharo
four

nne
five

hlano
big

-holo
long

-lelele, -telele
wide

-batsi
thick

-tenya
heavy

-boima, -pitla
small

-nyane
short

-kgutshwane, -kgutshwanyane
narrow

-tshesane
thin

-sesane
woman

mosadi
man

monna
human

motho
child

ngwana
wife

mohatsa, mosadi
husband

mohatsa
mother

mme
father

ntate
animal

phoofolo
fish

hlapi
bird

nonyana
dog

ntja
snake

noha
worm

seboko
tree

sefate
forest

moru, sekgwa
stick

thupa
fruit

tholwana
seed

peo
leaf

lehlaku
root

motso
bark *(tree)*

lekgapetla
flower

palesa
grass

jwang
rope

mohala
skin

letlalo
meat

nama
blood

madi
bone

lesapo
fat *(n.)*

mafura
egg

lehe
horn

lenaka
tail

mohatla
feather

lesiba
hair

moriri
head

hlooho
ear

tsebe
eye

leihlo
nose

nko
mouth

molomo
tooth

leino
tongue

leleme
fingernail

lenala
foot

leoto
leg

moomo
knee

lengole
hand

letsoho
wing

lepheo
belly

mpa
guts

dikahare
neck

molala
back

mokokotlo
breast

letswele *(breast)*, sefuba *(chest)*
heart

pelo
liver

sebete
to drink

nwa
to eat

ja
to bite

loma
to suck

monya
to spit

tshwela
to vomit

hlatsa
to blow

fefola
to breathe

phefumoloha
to laugh

tsheha
to see

bona
to hear

utlwa
to know

tseba
to think

nahana
to smell

fofonela
to fear

tshaba
to sleep

robala
to live

phela
to die

shwa
to kill

bolaya
to fight

lwana
to hunt

tsoma
to hit

bata, betsa, otla, shapa
to cut

phoma, seha, seta *(carve)*
to split

arohana, arola, petsoha
to stab

hlaba
to scratch

ngwapa
to dig

epa, tjheka
to swim

sesa
to fly

fofa
to walk

tsamaya
to come

tla
to lie *(bed)*

botha, lala, phomola *(rest)*
to sit

dula
to stand

ema
to turn

reteleha
to fall

wa
to give

fa
to hold

tshwara
to squeeze

tlhotla
to rub

pikitla
to wash

hlatswa
to wipe

hlakola
to pull

hula, tosola
to push

susumetsa
to throw

akga
to tie

fasa, tlama, tsala
to sew

roka
to count

bala
to say

bolela, re, tjho
to sing

bina, tsanyaola
to play

bapala
to float

phaphamala, sesa
to flow

phalla
to swell

ruruha
sun

letsatsi
moon

kgwedi
star

naledi
water

metsi
rain

pula
river

noka
lake

letsha
sea

lewatle
salt

letswai
stone

lejwe
sand

lehlabathe
dust

lerole
earth

mobu, lefatshe
cloud

leru
fog

mohodi
sky

lehodimo
wind

moya
snow

lehlwa
ice

leqhwa, aese *(< Eng)*
smoke

mosi
fire

mollo
ash

molora
to burn

besa, tjha, tjhesa, tuka
road

tsela
mountain

thaba
red

-fubedu
green

-tala
yellow

-sehla
white

-sweu
black

-tsho
night

bosiu
day

mohla
year

selemo, ngwahola *(last year)*
warm

-futhumetse
cold

-serame
full

-tletse
new

-tjha
old

-holo
good

-tle
bad

-be, mpe
rotten

bodileng
dirty

ditshila
straight

otlolohileng
round

-tjhitja
sharp *(knife)*

bohale, tjhora
blunt *(knife)*

nthithi
smooth

boreledi
wet

metsi
dry

-omisa, -oma
correct

nepisa
near

haufi, pela
far

hole
right

lokisa
left

leqele
in

ka
with

na
and

le, mme
if

ha
because

hobane
name

lebitso

View other word lists here