This lesson brings together some phrases you can use in the course of an evening with friends and family in your living room. The topics covered include welcoming a guest into the house, offering a drink, talking about the TV, the weather, furniture and talking about dinner.

This lesson brings together some phrases you can use in the course of an evening with friends and family in your living room. The topics covered include welcoming a guest into the house, offering a drink, talking about the TV, the weather, furniture and talking about dinner.

Where you can use the English word and can expect to be understood, we have used such words in the translation.


Can I take/hang your jacket? Nkobeke  ijaketi?

Can I take/hang your coat? Nkobeke ikoti?

Can I take/put away your umbrella? Mbike umbrella?

Can I take/put away your hat? Nkobeke icisote?

Close the door Isaleni icibi

Open the door Isuleni  icibi

Leave it open Sheni ukwaisuka

Leave it closed Sheni ukwaisalwa

It is open Nakwisuka

It is closed Nakwisalwa

Leave it like that Sheni ifyofine

Is it locked? Nakukomwa?

Is it open? Nakwisuka?

Is it closed? Nakwisalwa?

Is this your bag? Chola cenu ici?

How many bags are there? Ifyola fili finga?

I’ll carry your suitcase Nalasenda suitcase

I’ll lift your suitcase Nalapinga  suitcase

I’ll take your suitcase upstairs Nalatwala suitcase pamulu

I’ll take your suitcase downstairs Nalatwala suitcase panshi

I’ll take your bag upstairs Nalatwala icola pamulu

I’ll take your bag downstairs Nalatwala icola  panshi


Come in Ingileni

Take a seat Ikaleni

Seat with me Twikale  pamo

Sit over there Ikaleni  palya



What are you drinking/ What are you going to drink? Finshi walanwa? / Finshi mwalanwa?

Have some biscuits Lyeniko utuma bisketi

Would you like a drink?/What would you like to drink? Finshi mwalanwa?

Would you like a cup of tea? /Can I make you a cup of tea? Mupangileko tea?

Sugar? Shuga?

How many sugars? Shuga inga?

Milk? Umukaka?

White?/With milk? Nomukaka?

Yes please Emukwai

No, thanks Awe mukwai



Say hello to your friend Poshako umunobe (sing.) / Posheniko umunenu (pl.)

Say hello to your uncle Poshako nalume obe (sing.) / Posheniko banalumenwe (pl.)

Say hello to your (paternal) auntie Poshako nokosenge / posheniko banokosengenwe

Say hello to your grandad Poshako shikulu / Posheniko bashikulu

Say hello to your grandma Poshako nokokulu / Posheniko banokokulu

Say hello to your niece Poshako umwipwa / Posheniko umwipwa

Say hello to your cousin Poshako umufyala obe / Posheniko umufyala wenu




The bathroom is upstairs Bathroom ili pamulu

The bathroom is on the right hand side Bathroom ili ku kulyo(ku right)

The bathroom is on the left hand side Bathroom ili kukuso (ku Left)

You can go in now / You can come in now Kuti mwaingila nomba

Let me just tidy up Lekeni ngwamyemo



Where is the remote control? Remote control ili kwisa?

I’m looking for the remote control Ndefwaya Remote Control

Here is the remote control Remote Control iyi

I left it in the chair Naciyisha mucipuna

It is in the chair Ili mucipuna

It is on the table Ili pa Table

It is under the cushion Ili junshi ye kushoni

It is on the floor Ili panshi

How is the volume? Volume ili shani?

Can you please turn down the volume? Kuti mwacefyako Volume?

Can you please increase the volume? Kuti mwakushako Volume?

Do you want to increase the volume? Mulefwaya ukukushako Volume?

Do you want to reduce the volume? Mulefwaya ukecefyako Volume?

Do you want to change the channel? Mulefwaya ukucinja Channel?

Change it Cinjeni

Don’t change it  Mwicinja

Yes please Emukwai

Can we watch the News? Kuti twatambako News?

Can I watch the News? Kuti natambako News?

I want to watch the News Ndefwaya ukutambako News

I am tired of listening to the same News Nanaka ukutamba News imoine

Have you heard the News? Namumfwako News?

The News has started News yatampa

The News is finished News yapwa

The movie / film is finished Filimu yapwa

The movie is starting Filimu yalatampa

I like this movie(present tense) Naitemwa iyi filimu

I like this program Naitemwa iyi Program

Have you seen this? Namumona ifi ?

Come and see this! Iseni mumone!

You should see this!  Mufwile mwamona ifi

Come and marvel at this! Iseni mutambe!



This morning Muno lucelo

This afternoon Muno cungulo

This evening Muno bushiku

This day Ilelo

This week Uno mulungu

Now Nomba line

In the past Kale

I’m late Nacelwa

I’m not late Nshicelelwe

We are late Twacelwa

We are not late Tatucelelwe

How was your day (working)? Mwabomba shani?

How was your day (resting)? Mwatusha  shani?

My day was ok Ubushiku bwaendafye bwino

I had a tough day Ubushiku bwaciba ubwayafya

I am tired Ninaka

We had a lot of fun Twa angala bwino / Twa angele bwino

Did you go to town? Mwaciya ku tauni?

Did you meet James? Mwacimonana na James?

How was your trip/journey? Mwaenda shani?

Did you drive? Mwacensha motoka?

Did you come by bus? Mwishile na basi?

Did you come by train? Mwishile neshitima?

I drove here Nacensha motoka

I came by bus Njishile na basi

I came by train Njishile neshitima

I flew in / came by plane Njishile nendeke

How long (days) are you staying? Muleikala inshiku shinga?

How many days are you staying? Muleikala  inshiku shinga?

How many weeks are you staying? Muleikala imilungu inga?

How many years are you staying? Muleikala imyaka  inga?



It is hot today Nakukaba lelo

It was hot yesterday Kwalikaba mailo

It will be hot tomorrow Kukakaba mailo

It will be hot next week Kukakaba uyu mulungu uleisa

It was hot last week Kwalikaba uyu mulungu wapwile

It is cold today Nakutalala lelo

It was cold yesterday Kwalitalele mailo

It will be cold tomorrow Kukatalala mailo

It will be cold next week Kukatalala uyu mulungu uleisa

It is raining Ileloka

It was raining Yaleloka




Sofa Sofa

Chair Icipuna

Stool Akapuna

Table Itebulo

Drawer Drawer

Carpet Kapeti

Mat Mati

Reed mat Ubutanda

Curtain Iketani

Picture frame Picture frame

Magazine Magazine

Book Icitabo

Books Ifitabo

News paper Inyunshi

Clock Inkoloko

Computer Computer

Printer Printer

Cable Intambo

USB port USB port

Speakers Ama Speaker

Stereo Stereo



Dinner is ready / has been prepared Icakulya bapekanya

Dinner is ready / I have prepared dinner Icakulya napekanya

Come in / through, please Ingileni mukwai

Bring the drinks Leteni ama Drinks

Bring the tea Leteni Tea

Take the tea in Twaleni Tea

Take the drinks in Twaleni ama Drinks


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  1. Tabitha Nindi
    October 10, 2015 at 6:20 am

    what books can I buy so that I should learn fast,was born in Zambia but raised in Malawi so have forgotten my language please help me.

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