While English is an official language, and is widely understood, a number of indigenous languages are also spoken. The most common is Chewa (or Chichewa – the language of the Chewa). Here are a few Chichewa words and phrases:
Goodbye Tsalani Bwino
How are you? Muli bwanji?
What is your name? Dzina lanu ndani?
My name is … Dzina langa ndi….
I come from…. Ndikuchokera ku….
How old are you? Uli ndi zaka zingati? (To child)
Excuse me Zikomo
How much? Mumagulitsa bwanji?
How much is this? Bwanji ichi?
Thank you Zikomo
Tiyeni! Let’s go!
Tiyeni! Chichewa language course for newcomers to Malawi (Third Edition 2011) is based on everyday situations, with dialogues recorded on audio-CD. It can be ordered from Malawi Travel Marketing Consortium UK Office. A Chichewa-English Dictionary is also available, with the publishers now offering an instant ONLINE translation facility: http://translate.chichewadictionary.org/