Greetings are an integral part of Basotho culture. In Lesotho, it is not only surprising but offensive if someone simply walks past you without saying hello, therefore we must be sure to greet members of our communities as much as possible. It is common to shake hands when greeting and it is rude for men to greet people older than they are with hats on or when still siting down. Thus, hats are removed or at least sightly lifted with a touch and men stand up when greeting older people as a sign of respect. Greetings will help you build relationships in your community and with Basotho you will come across. The purpose of this unit is to teach you use correct titles and address terms and greet more than one person.

Unit 1


  • Greetings father
  • Lumela ntate
  • → / doo-may-lah nn-tah-tay/

This is singular, it can only be said when greeting one adult male.

  • Greetings mother
  • Lumela 'me
  • → / doo-may-lah may /

This is singular, it can only be said when greeting one adult Female.

  • How are you?
  • U phela joang?
  • → / Oh pay-la joo ahng /

This is singular, it can only be said when greeting one person either male or female.

  • How are you?
  • Le phela joang?
  • → / Lay pay-la joo ahng /

This is plural and it can be used when greeting two or more people either male or female.

  • I am fine and you?
  • ke phela hantle, uena?
  • → / kay pay-la hah-n-tlay, way-nah? /
  • I am not fine.
  • Ha ke phele hantle.
  • → / ha kay pay-lay hah-n-tlay /
  • Thanks
  • Kea leboha
  • → / kay-ah le-boo-ha /
  • I am "John Doe".
  • Ke 'na "John Doe".
  • → / Kay nah "John Doe" /
  • Peace
  • Khotso
  • → / This could be said to anyone - It is singular /
  • Peace
  • Khotsong
  • → / This is Plural /
  • Hello
  • Lumela
  • → / doo-may-lah /

It can be said when greeting one male/female

  • Hello
  • Lumelang
  • → / doo-may-lung /

It can be said when greeting more than one male/female

Unit 2


  • Knock-knock
  • Koko
  • → / co-co /
  • Who is it?
  • Ke mang?
  • → / kay mong /
  • It's "John Doe"
  • Ke "John Doe"
  • → / kay "John Doe" /
  • Come in
  • Kena
  • → / kaynah /

Unit 3


Normally after you greet a person, you may have to say sala hantle or tsamaea hantle.

  • Good bye / Stay Well
  • Sala hantle
  • Good bye / Go well
  • Tsamaea hantle

Sesotho Adverbs

Lesson 4: Sesotho Adverbs