Language Botswana

Botswana Language Guide


One of the most intimidating aspects of travelling to a foreign country, such as Botswana, is the prospect of confronting an unfamiliar language. The fear of miscommunication, or the potential total lack of it, often puts you off visiting some of the most incredible destinations in the world. We’re here to put your mind at ease, and set you up for an unforgettable trip to beautiful Botswana, by providing you with a handy language guide.

While the official language in Botswana is English, the most widely spoken language is Setswana. The country’s national language, Setswana is spoke natively by over 78% of the population. Interestingly, it is one of 6 Bantu languages spoken in Botswana – a list which includes Kalanga, Sekgalagadi, Shona and Ndebele. Other non-Bantu languages spoken in this picturesque country are Tshwa, Tuu and Afrikaans.

Botswana Language

If you’re not fluent in Setswana, don’t fret, English is the official business language of Botswana and is widely spoken in most urban areas. It is also the language of most written communication throughout, a fact which makes it a convenient destination for almost all regional and international travellers.

To aid you in your travels throughout, and to make your experience that much more enriching and enjoyable, we’ve put together some common Setswana greetings and phrases in a short Botswana language guide.

Hello. Dumela.
How are you? O tsogile jang?
Fine, thank you. Ke tsogile.
What is your name? Leina le gago ke mang?
My name is… Leina la me ke…
Nice to meet you. Ke itumela go go itse.
Thank you. Kea leboga.
You’re welcome. O amogelesegile.
Yes. Ee.
No. Nnyaa.
I don’t understand. Ga ke tlhaloganye.
How much is this? E ke bokae?
Sorry. Ke kopa tshwarelo.
Goodbye. Tsamaya sentle.

Botswana Language Guide

Cresta Hotels have a wide range of properties in Gaborone, Francistown, Maun, Kasane, Palapye, Selebi-Phikwe, Jwaneng, and Mahalapye, allowing you to explore much of this incredible country. To find out more about Botswana, or to book an unforgettable stay at any one of the Cresta Hotels properties, get in touch with a member of our friendly reservations team on +27 11 881 1200 or enquiry@crestahotels.com.

Image Credits:
Marion Bobst
yohan rousset
Patrik M. Loeff