Zulu (isiZulu)

travel photo to inspire Zulu language students
By Amada44 - Own work, Public Domain

ALPHABET MATCHING GAME VOCABULARY FLASHCARDS

Why learn Zulu?

Communication skills developed while learning Zulu can improve your interpersonal skills in your native langauge as well. Understanding Zulu enhances your opportunities in government, business, medicine, law, technology, military, industry, marketing, etc. Skills like problem solving, dealing with abstract concepts, are increased when you study Zulu. Learning about another culture enables you to gain a more profound understanding of your own culture.

Zulu is an African langauge spoken by about 12 million Zulu people in South Africa and parts of Malawi, Mozambique and Swaziland. It became one of South Africa's 11 official languages in 1994. Zulu means heaven or sky in the Zulu language.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Zulu?

*** NOTES *** Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa (24% of the population), and it is understood by over 50% of its population.

Zulu Alphabet & Pronunciation

a
[a]
b
[b]
bh
[bʱ]
c
[ǀ]
ch
[ǀʰ]
d
[d]
dl
[ɮ]
e
[e]
f
[f]
g
[ɡ]
gc
[ ᶢǀʱ]
gq
[ᶢǃʱ]
gx
[ᶢǂʱ]
h
[h]
hh
[ɦ]
hl
[ɬ]
i
[i]
j
[dʒ]
k
[k]
k
[kʰ]
k
[kx]
l
[l]
m
[m]
mb
[mb]
n
[n]
nc
[ᵑǀ]
ng
[nɡ]
ngc
[ᵑǀʱ]
ngq
[ᵑǃʱ]
ngx
[ᵑǂʱ]
nj
[ɲdʒ]
nk
[ŋk]
nq
[ᵑǃ]
ntsh
[ɲtʃʼ]
nx
[ᵑǂ]
ny
[ɲ]
o
[o]
p
[p]
ph
[pʰ]
q
[ǃ]
qh
[ǃʰ]
r
[r]
s
[s]
sh
[ʃ]
t
[t]
th
[tʰ]
ts
[tsʼ]
tsh
[tʃʼ]
u
[u]
v
[v]
w
[w]
x
[ǂ]
xh
[ǂʰ]
y
[j]
z
[z]

Basic Phrases in Zulu

HelloSawubona
GoodbyeHamba kahle
YesCha
NoCha
Excuse meUxolo
PleaseNgiyacela
Thank youNgiyabonga
You are welcomeWamukelekile
Do you speak englishIngabe uyasikhuluma isingisi?
Do you understandUyaqonda?
I understandNgiyaqonda
I do not understandAngiqondi
How are youUnjani?
Fine thanksNgiyaphila ngiyabonga!
What is your nameUbani igama lakho?
My name isIgama lami ngu
Pleased to meet youNgijabulela ukukwazi

Zulu Grammar

Zulu Nouns

ManIndoda (indoda)
WomanUmfazi (umfazi)
BoyUmfana (umfana)
GirlIntombazane
CatIkati (ikkʰkxati)
DogInja (indʒa)
FishInhlanzi
WaterAmanzi (amanzi)
MilkUbisi
EggIqanda
HouseIndlu (indlu)
FlowerImbali (imbali)
TreeIsihlahla
ShirtIhembe
PantsIbhulukwe (ibhulukkʰkxwe)

Zulu Adjectives

Colors in Zulu

BlackMnyama
WhiteMhlophe
RedBomvu
OrangeIwolintshi
YellowOphuzi
GreenLuhlaza
BlueOluhlaza okwesibhakabhaka
PurpleOnsomi
PinkOpinki
GrayMpunga
BrownNsundu

Numbers in Zulu

ZeroIze
OneEyodwa
TwoAbabili
ThreeOkuthathu
FourAbane
FiveEzinhlanu
SixIsithupha
SevenIsikhombisa
EightIsishiyagalombili
NineIsishiyagalolunye
TenIshumi
ElevenIshumi nanye
TwelveEyishumi nambili
TwentyAmashumi amabili
ThirtyAmashumi amathathu
FortyAmashumi amane
FiftyAmashumi amahlanu
SixtyAmashumi ayisithupha
SeventyAmashumi ayisikhombisa
EightyAmashumi ayisishiyagalombili
NinetyAmashumi ayisishiyagalolunye
HundredIkhulu
ThousandInkulungwane

Zulu Verbs

To beUku
To haveUkuba
To wantUkufuna
To needUkudinga
To helpUkusiza
To goUkuhamba
To comeUkuza
To eatUkudla
To drinkUkuphuza
To speakUkukhuluma

Building Simple Sentences

More Complex Zulu Sentences

AndFuthi
OrNoma
ButKodwa
BecauseNgoba
WithNge
AlsoFuthi
HoweverNokho
NeitherNoma
NorFuthi
IfUma
ThenKe

Useful Zulu Vocabulary

Zulu Questions

WhoUbani
WhatIni
WhenNini
WhereKuphi
WhyKungani
HowKanjani
How manyMangaki
How muchMalini

Days of the Week in Zulu

MondayUMsombuluko
TuesdayUsuku lwakusasa
WednesdayNgoLwesithathu
ThursdayLwesine
FridayNgoLwesihlanu
SaturdayIlanga
SundayISonto
YesterdayIzolo
TodayNamuhla
TomorrowKusasa

Months in Zulu

JanuaryJanawari
FebruaryUFebhuwari
MarchMashi
AprilEphreli
MayMeyi
JuneNgoJuni
JulyJulayi
AugustAgasti
SeptemberSepthemba
OctoberOkthoba
NovemberNovemba
DecemberDisemba

Seasons in Zulu

WinterUbusika
SpringEntwasahlobo
SummerIhlobo
AutumnEkwindla

Telling Time in Zulu

What time is itKungasiphi isikhathi?
HoursAmahora
MinutesImizuzu
SecondsImizuzwana
O clockIhora
HalfUhhafu
Quarter pastIkota edlule
BeforeNgaphambili
AfterEmva