Chichewa

travel photo of Lake Malawi to inspire language study
Lake Malawi by Paul Venter, Public Domain

ALPHABET MATCHING GAME VOCABULARY FLASHCARDS

Why learn Chichewa?

You can communicate in Chichewa. Your marketable skills in the global economy are improved when you master Chichewa. Skills like problem solving, dealing with abstract concepts, are increased when you study Chichewa. Chichewa expand one's view of the world, liberalize one's experiences, and make one more flexible and tolerant.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Chichewa?

*** NOTES *** Chichewa, also known as Chewa, is an official language of Malawi and is spoken in Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The language used to be called Chinyanja - as it still is in Zambia - but in Malawi it officially became Chichewa in 1974, at which time the President of Malawi was from the Chewa tribe. Chichewa is part of the Bantu language family which spreads across most of sub-Saharan Africa, so it is related to languages as far-reaching as Zulu, Kirundi and Tswana.

Chichewa Alphabet & Pronunciation

A a
(a)
B b
(bi)
C c
(ci)
D d
(di)
E e
(e)
F f
(efi)
G g
(gi)
H h
(hechi)
I i
(i)
J j
(ji)
K k
(ke)
L l
(li)
M m
(emi)
N n
(eni)
O o
(o)
P p
(pi)
R r
(eri)
S s
(esi)
T t
(ti)
U u
(u)
V v
(vi)
W w
(we)
Ŵ ŵ
(ŵi)
Z z
(zi)

Basic Phrases in Chichewa

HelloMoni
GoodbyeBayi
YesInde
NoAyi
Excuse mePepani
PleaseChonde
Thank youZikomo
You are welcomeMwalandilidwa
Do you speak englishMumalankhula Chingerezi?
Do you understandKodi mukumvetsetsa?
I understandNdikumvetsa
I do not understandSindikumve
How are youMuli bwanji?
Fine thanks
What is your nameDzina lanu ndi ndani?
My name isDzina langa ndi
Pleased to meet youNdakondwa kukumana nanu

Chichewa Grammar

Chichewa Nouns

Man
Woman
Boy
GirlMtsikana
Cat
Dog
Fish
Water
Milk
Egg
House
Flower
Tree
Shirt
Pants

Chichewa Adjectives

Colors in Chichewa

BlackZakuda
WhiteZoyera
RedOfiira
OrangeLalanje
YellowChikasu
GreenWobiriwira
BlueBuluu
PurpleWofiirira
PinkPinki
GrayImvi
BrownZofiirira

Numbers in Chichewa

ZeroZero
OneM'modzi
TwoAwiri
ThreeZitatu
FourZinayi
FiveAsanu
SixAsanu ndi limodzi
SevenZisanu ndi ziwiri
EightZisanu ndi zitatu
NineNaini
TenKukhala
ElevenEleveni
TwelveKhumi ndi awiri
TwentyMakumi awiri
ThirtyMakumi atatu
FortyMakumi anayi
FiftyMakumi asanu
SixtyEpulo
SeventyMakumi asanu ndi awiri
EightyMakumi asanu ndi atatu
NinetyMakumi asanu ndi anayi
HundredZana
ThousandZikwi

Chichewa Verbs

To beKukhala
To haveKukhala
To wantKufuna
To needKusowa
To helpKuthandiza
To goKupita
To comeKubwera
To eatKudya
To drinkKumwa
To speakKuyankhula

Building Simple Sentences

More Complex Chichewa Sentences

AndNdi
OrKapena
ButKoma
BecauseChifukwa
WithNdi
AlsoKomanso
HoweverKomabe
NeitherNgakhalenso
NorNgakhale
IfNgati
ThenNdiye

Useful Chichewa Vocabulary

Chichewa Questions

WhoAmene
WhatChani
WhenLiti
WherePati
WhyBwanji
HowBwanji
How manyAngati
How muchZingati

Days of the Week in Chichewa

MondayLolemba
TuesdayTsiku lamasana
WednesdayLachitatu
ThursdayLachinayi
FridayLachisanu
SaturdaySatana
SundayLamlungu
YesterdayDzulo
TodayLero
TomorrowMawa

Months in Chichewa

JanuaryJanuware
FebruaryZoperewera
MarchMarichi
AprilEpulo
MayMeyi
JuneJuni
JulyJulayi
AugustOgasiti
SeptemberSeputembala
OctoberOkutobala
NovemberNovembala
DecemberDisembala

Seasons in Chichewa

WinterNthawi yachisanu
SpringKasupe
SummerChilimwe
AutumnM'dzinja

Telling Time in Chichewa

What time is itNthawi ili bwanji?
HoursMaola
MinutesMphindi
SecondsMasekondi
O clockKoloko
HalfTheka
Quarter pastMphindi zapitazo
BeforeKale
AfterPambuyo