At the Restaurant – Bemba Lesson 9


Photo by Biser Todorov (Wikipedia)

If you walk into any restaurant, the truth is that you can call virtually all foods by their English names and you will be perfectly understood.

Whether you are in Kitwe or in Kasama, you will find a variety of dishes to choose from. Here are some Bemba words and phrases you are likely to use at the restaurant:


ENGLISH                           BEMBA

Beer                        Bwalwa

Bread                      Mukate

Cassava                 Kalundwe

Chicken                  Nkoko

Coffee                     Kofi

Fish                         Isabi

Goat                         Imbushi

Knife                       Umwêle

Maize                      Itaba

Maize (plural)        Amataba

Milk                          Mukaka

Fork                         Foloko

Potato                    Cilashi

Potatoes                Filashi

Salt                          Mucele

Spoon                     Supuni

Sugar                      Shûka

Sweet Potato        Cumbu

Sweet potatoes    Fyumbu

Pork                         Inkumba

Restaurant            N’ganda ya malîla

Rice                         Mupunga

Table                       Itêbulo


Toilet                      Cimbusu  /  “Ng’anda ikalamba”

Vegetables            Musâlu

Water                      Amenshi



           Quick Phrases


How much?                     Lunga? / Shinga?

Can I please have …..     Mpeniko ………..

I want …………                    Ndefwaya ……..

Thank you                        Natôtela / Natasha

The cook                          Kûki / Kepika

We thank you                  Twatotela

The food is nice              Icakulya naciwâma

The food is very nice     Icakulya naciwâma sâna

The food is not nice       Icakulya taciwême

There’s no salt (in the food)        Tamuli mucele (mu cakulya)


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